South Broadway Construction To Begin Monday - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


South Broadway Construction To Begin Monday

One of Tyler's major roads, will soon look a lot different.  Construction crews are set to begin work Monday on a 2 1/2 mile,  $6.5 million project that will add raised medians to a portion of South Broadway.

South Broadway is one of the most highly traveled roads, in all of East Texas.  On an average day, the section beginning just South of the Loop and stretching down to Heritage Dr., will see more than 40,000 vehicles a day.  Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation say, that's when things get dangerous.

"A lot of times we have several pretty major conflicts of people not observing the traffic flow when they're in those left turn (lanes), not noticing the person in front of them is trying to execute a left turn and people using it as an acceleration lane to get around the traffic," said District Engineer Mary Owen.

Owen believes the center turn lane, which runs the length of South Broadway, actually adds to the problems.  She said raised medians are part of the solution.

Once complete the raised median project will look similar to those already in place on the South and Southwest Loop in Tyler and TXDOT officials hope that project will have the same success.

"It's a learning curve," Owen said.  "They're effective, we know they're effective they've been used for many years in major metropolitan areas and we just have to realize we're becoming more and more urbanized everyday."

Drivers who use the road are not yet convinced.

"I heard about it but I don't know if it's going to help with the congestion," said Tyler resident Margie Fite.  "I hope it gets better."

TXDOT hopes a little patience and a lot of knowledge, leads to a smoother trip for everyone.

In all the median will run 2.6 miles down South Broadway.  The project comes at no direct cost to local taxpayers.  Drivers should not expect lane closures until early summer.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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