Loop 49 Construction Phase Accelerated

Planners have hit the gas on the Loop 49 project. That's the toll road to relieve traffic congestion in and around Tyler. Thanks in part to a state grant, the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority is now in charge of engineering and design for Section III of the project.

The first section between State Highway 155 and U.S. 69 will open this summer.  Section II will extend east to Paluxy Drive by early 2008.

Engineering work on the toll road will be accelerated on Section III, extending east to 110 Troup Highway. With the hope of it opening by the Fall of 2009. That would connect Highway 155 with 110.

"Today we are formally taking over from TxDOT the process of drawing up the plan specs, and engineering, and it will knock off a couple of years the construction phase," says Authority Chairman Jeff Austin III.

Also accelerated will be the section of the roadway planned to go from Highway 155 in South Tyler to Highway 31 on the city's far west side. Work on that could begin in 2010.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com