Leaders say road improvements will be major investment for Smith - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Leaders say road improvements will be major investment for Smith County

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

Smith County leaders said they are looking to make a long- term investment in solving the county's road problem.
Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said they are already receiving lots of feedback after putting out a call for input from residents about the county's roads.

"It's a variety of issues with a variety of roads, and it's spread out," Moran said.

With more than 1,900 roads in Smith County, leaders are preparing to improve problematic roads, an effort that started with an assessment by Atkins Engineering.

"We are going to have to do something beyond what an annual budget can do for our roads. We are going to have to make a big improvement, it’s going to take a major investment by our county and its citizens," Moran said.

The assessment found 12 percent of county roads in very good shape, 51 percent in good shape, and 37 percent in poor shape.

Now the county is looking to residents to figure out how and where to focus improvements.

"One of the questions we ask is rate one to ten the importance of doing this strategic plan; so far it's all tens," Moran said.

Residents can fill out a form in person or online and give county leaders their input on what improvements they need on their road.  

"We want to participate in any form of public presentation that we may make to support the record for whatever needs to be done," one resident said.

Moran said from residents' feedback, they will develop a plan of action and present it to residents.

"If we do this process transparently and involve the public every step of the way, when we present the financing options on how to tackle this project, I think the public will embrace that," Moran said.

County leaders said once a plan is in place, it could take five to six years to complete.
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