Road crews say the drought is a good thing - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Road crews say the drought is a good thing


While the drought has dried out a lot of vegetation and contributed to last year's wildfires in East Texas, others here would say the droughts actually been a good thing.

TX DOT officials said many of their projects are either on schedule or ahead of schedule, thanks to the lack of rain.

"In the process of determining how long a project is supposed to take, you have to take into consideration how much hot mix are we going to lay? Are we building bridges? Are we replacing structures new location?" said Larry Krantz, TX DOT.

And of course they have to consider the weather.

"You know, there are going to be some days where it's going to rain, or the temperatures going to be too cold to work with certain materials, and in the  drought that we've had, certainly rain hasn't been a factor," said Kranrz.

Krantz said thanks to the drought, not only have they been able to work on projects more consistently- they are finishing them faster. Some before their scheduled finish dates.

"Can't do a whole lot of road construction or maintenance type of work in the rain so when we get a break in the weather even if it's hot temperatures like that it allows for construction and maintenance work to proceed rapidly," said Tom Mullins, Economic Development Council.

"Commercial, residential construction and road construction a lot of the road construction projects are ahead of schedule because of the dry weather," said Mullins.

One of them being Earl Campbell Parkway, which Mullins said will open late this summer - about two to three months ahead of schedule.

Meaning the faster it's done, the faster businesses can move in.

"We have an office project we have a large claims center that could mean several hundred jobs and we have a distribution prospect all looking at that corridor," said Mullins.

Mullins said the faster major projects like this one move, the more it allows for certain areas to be marketed to potential employers.

Mullins said the Economic Development Council has a total of about 200 acres on the north and south sides of Earl Campbell Parkway that will be available to businesses.

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