More lanes coming to Highway 31 - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

More lanes coming to Highway 31

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

If you've ever driven Highway 31 in Smith County you know all about the traffic on that road. It seems you're either stuck behind someone or someone else is tailgating you.

Well the Texas Department of Transportation is well aware of that and is doing something that will help. Next week construction begins to add some passing lanes between FM 757 and FM 850. We spoke with some of you who use Highway 31 every week.

It's not easy to pass on Highway 31, and it can be dangerous. The Texas Department of Transportation hopes their 3.5 million dollar project will help by adding three more passing zones between 757 and 850. Many who use the road are looking forward to it.

"I travel three times a week to go to my other job and the expansion of the road would be great. Some people don't drive as fast as other people. You know, we have to get over to let speeders go around us and it's dangerous to be on the side of the road," said Kelly Smart-Gore.

"I think it would be great. I'm ready for them to do it," said Brittany Frazier.

Paul Bircher said, "I can't see it being nothing but help. I've seen quite a few fatalities and most of them were people trying to pass."

"Of course, you know there will be construction for a while so it will be slower going at first," I said to Billy Freeman who drives 31 often.

"Yeah, but once it's over I think it will make a big difference," he replied.

Of course the downside is delays in the construction zone. Some days will be slower than others. TEXDOT points out there is an alternate route: FM 2767. It runs from Country Tavern in Gregg County in the east, to Loop 323 in the west completely bypassing the construction zone. The speed limit is 55 instead of 70, but there won't be construction delays.

TEXDOT says construction will begin as early as Monday so if you have to use 31 you might want to leave a little earlier. The project is slated to be complete in the summer of 2015.

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