Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt talks budgets, projects in State of the County address
GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt gave a “State of the County” address on Tuesday afternoon, speaking on topics ranging from taxes, to the county budget, to county vehicles.
At $79 million, Stoudt called the 2023 budget the “most aggressive budget the commissioners court has ever passed since I’ve been a county judge.” That budget will go partially toward infrastructure and capital projects.
Stoudt also spoke about highway expansion projects in Gregg County. And Stoudt said although some projects were delayed by COVID, they are progressing.
“Harrison Road from Loop 281 to Highway 42 is approximately 40 percent complete including four lane with continuous turn lane. $2.5 million from the City of Longview and $2.5 million from Gregg County was our part with the remaining cost with TXDOT,” Stoudt said.
Stoudt said the Highway 42 expansion from Highway 80 in White Oak to I-20 is moving forward.
“Highway 42 is underway with the engineering and right of way acquisition. Obviously if you’ve ever driven Highway 42 it’s probably one of the most dangerous highways in Gregg County. And hopefully in the next several years that will be a nice four lane continuous turn lane,” Stoudt said.
Stoudt said the county just received final approval for the widening of I-20 to six lanes in Smith and Gregg Counties.
“That’s been a big project that’s on the governor’s radar. It’s one of his priority projects with TXDOT. It is on track. The money’s been appropriated, and they’ll start beginning the work and engineering this year,” Stoudt said.
Stoudt said there is a big change coming at Highway 31 and I-20.
“And you won’t recognize Highway 31 and I-20 when it’s complete. The whole new mix master of getting off I-20,” Stoudt said.
He said once the project begins drivers in that area can expect traffic delays.
“We also have just received final approval to widen 31 from Kilgore to the Smith County Line. It’s called bloody 31. A number of people have died there,” Stoudt said.
Timelines for the I-20 and Highway 31 projects have not yet been released.
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