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Public feedback sought ahead of meeting on proposed overpass, Old Jacksonville highway expansion

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The stretch of Old Jacksonville highway between Loop 323 and FM 2813 is known to Tyler city planners as one of the most congested areas in the city.

For more than five years, the city has been looking at options to speed up the traffic flow.

“We’ve already seen a lot of traffic growing there, and with the amount of new development we’re seeing there, we knew we needed to have a long-range plan as the traffic continues to grow,” Metropolitan Planning Organization manager Michael Howell said.

After years of studies, plans to expand a portion of Old Jacksonville highway from four to six lanes were created. If constructed, the expansion would go from Loop 323 to FM 2813.

“Based off of the modeling that the consultants did, they said that the widening would improve almost all of the intersections except for the intersection at Loop 323 and Old Jacksonville. They said even with the widening to six lanes, it would still be at a failing level of service and that’s what spurred the second project,” Howell said.

The second project − finding a way to cut down on congestion at the Loop and Old Jacksonville. A study of the intersection gives it an “F” rating, meaning drivers are sometimes waiting minutes to cross. One of the possible solutions − building an overpass that would go over Old Jacksonville highway.

“The overpass, anything like that, if it was going to be done, probably would take two, maybe even three years for the full construction to be there and that would have some kind of an economic impact on the adjacent businesses,” Howell said.

Last July, the Transportation Policy Committee voted unanimously to change the language in their improvement program to remove the reference to the overpass in favor of other intersection improvements. It’s still to be determined what those could be, but for the city, one thing is for sure.

“Unless there’s something that’s gonna be done out there, it’s gonna continue to stay at that failing status,” Howell said.

The projects are still in the very early stages of planning and no final completion date is set, but it will likely be several years from now.

The proposed overpass and widening project will be considered for adoption at the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s transportation policy committee meeting on June 17th at 2 p.m. in the Tyler City Council chambers.

To give feedback on the project, click here.

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