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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 10:04am

TxDot will add passing lanes to Hwy 31 this month

KETK
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POSTED: Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 11:30pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 12:33am

The Texas Department of Transportation does have plans to add more passing lanes on Hwy 31, in between Tyler and Kilgore. This is one of four highways in East Texas TxDot is planning to expand.

Starting this month, TxDot contractors will begin adding three additional passing lanes to Hwy 31 east of Loop 323 in Tyler. There are already two passing lanes on this stretch of highway, but more are needed. TxDot hopes this will reduce the amount of wrecks and help drivers pass other cars safely. TxDot will start working on the first of three passing lanes this month between Fm 850 and Fm 757.

"These are designed to add passing opportunities closer to the Tyler side and really give traffic an opportunity to normalize itself on a very busy highway," said TxDot spokesperson Larry Krantz.

Krantz said ideally they would want to add two extra lanes in one direction to make it a four-way highway, but they don't have enough money in the budget.

"These types of passing lane projects give us the best of both worlds by allowing additional passing opportunities putting some wider shoulders in without us having to buy additional right of way," said Krantz.

Krantz said these passing lanes will give people the opportunity to pass somebody slow and give people two lanes in the same direction so they can pass each other without having to cross into oncoming traffic. 

 Many East Texans know first hand, the tragic reputation of Hwy 31, including Bobby Wallace. He lives right by the highway. He hopes these extra passing lanes will help curb the number of accidents in his community.

"There have been quite a few wrecks right here. And ya that will help out a lot."

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