Better East Texas: Tyler needs proposed overpass for future growth

Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 4:00 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - One of the hallmarks of good stewardship is planning for the future. We do it as individuals and communities. And when we fail to plan, which we all have at different times, the sting of lack of planning lingers. And when it comes to future concerns in our communities, traffic is at the top of the list in East Texas.

Tyler is in just such a spot. The city has been blessed with solid growth the past few decades and that growth will continue whether you like it or not. Along with that growth comes infrastructure needs, new fire stations, new courthouses, schools and utilities. Traffic is already a challenge around the major arteries into and around the city. Relief on South Broadway won’t happen anytime soon, so Old Jacksonville Highway is being expanded.

Traffic flows also show there is need for an overpass on Loop 323 at Old Jacksonville and the state is ready to move forward. But businesses along that intersection are pushing back. And that is short sighted. No doubt, we need more design attention to remove business concerns as much as possible, but ignoring this problem will only make it worse. The Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will soon vote on supporting this project or not and without their support, it will likely die. Now, even if approved, it will be years before any ground will be broken so there is time to find design solutions, but voting this down is not the way to go. Tyler cannot afford not to plan, so keeping this overpass alive will make for a Better East Texas.

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