Five-county panel discusses I-20 projects
POSTED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 12:14pm
Longview, TX — Improving the way traffic flows from Louisiana to Dallas could mean a longer entrance ramp here and an additional lane there — all options to be considered by a five-county panel that met for the first time Thursday in Longview.
“It’s going to be all of you building consensus — how can we have better flow,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin told the Interstate 20 East Texas Working Group. “You hit the worst spots first, and that’s what we do is listen to this group, long range. But you’re going to break it up into little projects.”
The 16-member panel is comprised of county judges, mayors and transportation leaders from Gregg, Harrison, Smith, Van Zandt and eastern Dallas County. The group is on an 18-month mission to compile a list of construction or other projects that could enhance safety, mobility or both.
The working group won’t meet again until October. During the meanwhile, the panel and Texas Department of Transportation officials agreed to continue a two-way dialogue leading to those “hot spots” requested by Jacksonville native Austin.
TxDOT Chief Planning Engineer Mark Williams reminded the group to consider how commercial and passenger train lines and U.S. 80, both of which parallel the five-county route, can play in the equation. He and Russell Zapalac, TxDOT’s assistant executive director for strategic rights of way, asked the members to provide a more comprehensive list of commercial distribution centers that use I-20 in their counties.
Read more from the Longview News-Journal.