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New expansion project set for West Loop 323


POSTED: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 6:40pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 6:40pm

A new expansion project is set to clear up the longtime bottleneck on Tyler's West Loop 323.

The project is in place to start in 2013, that will widen this section near Belwood Road to Highway 31 from four lanes to six.

"This is the one project on the loop that sticks out like a sore thumb that needs to be done," said TxDOT spokesperson Larry Krantz.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization has agreed to help tackle a road project with TxDOT, that originally wasn't slated to happen for at least 10 years.

"This is a project that is over $7 million dollars, and because of some projects coming in under budget, we were able to get the federal and state funding that's required to do this type of project," Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass said.

The existing underpass will be completely replaced on top of adding lanes.

"When the economy is down, that's a good time to do a lot of road projects," Krantz said. "it puts people to work, you have contractors that are looking for work to make sure they have projects so they can keep their people. And the taxpayer benefits by getting a good price for what might cost up to twice as much when times are good."

Mayor Bass hopes it will be completed in the next five years.

In the meantime, she asks the city for their patience.

"The detour will be a little bit of a frustration for people that will be commuting everyday, but it will be more than worth it in the long run," she said.

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