JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - US 69 is a north to south rural highway originating in Port Arthur, Texas and runs all the way up through Jacksonville. Throughout the years, this road has cause problems of safety, congestion and economic resources.
"If I'm going somewhere and it's 4 or 5 o'clock, I have to think, 'okay, is there a better way to get there then going on south Jackson?'" Mayor of Jacksonville Dick Stone said.
That is why the Texas Department of Transportation is about to start the US 69 Jacksonville Relief Route Study.
"So the Texas Department of Transportation is considering a bypass alternative to move freight traffic or 18-wheeler traffic around the city," Stone said.
Known as north or south Jackson to residents, Highway 69 is not always the safest place to travel.
"The city of Jacksonville from city limit to city limit is about triple the state average crash rate," Stone said.
The goal of the TxDOT study is to find an alternative route around Jacksonville that will improve safety, mitigate congestion, provide an improved hurricane evacuation route and more.
"It's something that needs to be looked at and discussed and evaluated," Stone said. "And yes it's a long process but you have to start somewhere."
And while TxDOT is starting in the right place, unfortunately, Mayor Stone says this will not be a quick fix.
"If they decided they were gonna put a relief route in," Stone said. "I think it would be somewhere between the 10 year to 15 year range before you would actually see the bypass."
TxDOT will host a meeting open to the public so they can provide input on a proposed route around Jacksonville. That meeting will be Thursday, February 22 at 5:30 at the Norman Activity Center