Old Jacksonville expansion project approved at cost of $26.15 million

Old Jacksonville expansion project approved at cost of $26.15 million

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Expansion work has been approved for FM 2493 in Smith County.

TxDOT released the following information about the project:

The Texas Transportation Commission this month approved the update of the Unified Transportation Program authorizing partial funding for the expansion of FM 2493 (Old Jacksonville Highway) from Loop 323 in Tyler to FM 2813 in Gresham. The Commission has allocated $26.15 million for construction funding.

According to TxDOT, FM 2493 will be widened from 4-lanes to a 6-lane divided highway with flush median, from Loop 323 to FM 2813.

"Thanks to the recent action taken by the Texas Transportation Commission, this project has moved closer to reality," said Glenn Green, Tyler District Engineer. "The $26.15 allocated will allow TxDOT to move forward with schematic development and environmental coordination for the project."

Schematic development will begin next spring and will not only include providing additional lanes, but will also include evaluating an overpass at Loop 323. The current construction funding target of $52.3 million will include widening from a 4-lane roadway to a 6-lane divided highway with a flush median, from Loop 323 in Tyler to FM 2813 in Gresham.

The overpass could either be constructed with the widening, or be constructed as a separate phase, depending on additional funding availability. The Tyler MPO, the city of Tyler, and TxDOT, are currently working to identify the remaining $26.15 million needed to fund the widening. The widening is currently projected to be ready for construction in 2024.

"This is one of the great partnerships," said Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commissioner. "Working with the mayor and the MPO we were able to fill a gap in funding on a major, congested highway in this region. Though construction won't begin until 2024, planning begins immediately and work will continue on Old Jacksonville Highway through Gresham, Flint and Bullard to improve mobility in this growing area."

The expansion of FM 2493 is being achieved through three projects. Following are updates on the other two:

• Right-of-way acquisition is currently being finalized for the expansion of FM 2493 from a 2-lane roadway to a 4-lane divided highway with flush median, from FM 2813 in Gresham to FM 346 in Flint. This project was funded through a partnership between the City of Tyler, the Tyler MPO and TxDOT, and is scheduled to go to construction next fall.
• Schematic development and environmental coordination is being finalized for the expansion of FM 2493 from 2-lanes to a 4-lane divided highway with flush median, from FM 346 in Flint to US 69 south of Bullard. This project is partially funded through the Tyler MPO and TxDOT and could go to construction in 2021 pending the remaining funds.

In 2008, TxDOT completed the expansion of FM 2493 from 2-lanes to a 4-lane divided highway with a flush median, from Grande Boulevard to FM 2813 in Gresham. Once these projects are complete, FM 2493 will provide 6-lanes from Loop 323 in Tyler to FM 2813 in Gresham, and 4-lanes from Gresham to US 69 south of Bullard.