WICHITA FALLS (KFDX KJTL)—Tx-DOT officials will begin taking more input on a major safety improvement project for Hwy 82, west of Wichita Falls.
The plan is to widen the highway from the Wichita-Archer County line to FM 369 in Wichita Falls.
It’s a project that’s been talked about for several years now.
For years Tx-DOT has been working to improve area roads following a state mandate, which required the agency to upgrade every highway that connected cities with 50,000 or more residents, all ports, military installations, and border crossings.
“This portion of road all the way to Abilene had to be upgraded over the years and no money to do it our district got stuck with 57 miles and no money to build it so it’s being built in pieces,” Tx-DOT Public Information Officer Adele Lewis said
Those pieces include a project to widen U.S. Hwy 82 from the Wichita-Archer County line to FM 369 in Wichita Falls.
Tx-DOT officials have held many public hearings to inform residents and business owners in that area.
“We held our first public meeting in 2016 to get input from the community and we took down some suggestions they came back with what they liked what they didn’t like what we should avoid if we came over here and widened this road,” Lewis said
The new design will also call for a continuous left turn lane in the center of U.S. Hwy 82, with wider 10-inch shoulders.
Lewis believes this will allow drivers to pull off the road with more safety, but one resident who frequently takes this route believes another problem needs to be addressed as well.
“Its a problem it can be fixed but the biggest problem with the roads are the cell phones the amount of wreck we had out here 99 percent are cell phones,” Double D Liquor Co-Owner Jackey Dunn said.
Double D Liquor sits off of U.S. Hwy 82 and owner Jackey Dunn said she likes the idea of fixing the road, but wishes for a quicker process.
“I just wish they go ahead and get it done and get it over with and I’m sure everybody out here is the same way we been told a bunch of items are going to happen so I’m just curious to which one is going to show up,” Dunn said
So as the $15.4 million project continues to be finalized, people like Dunn are anxiously waiting for 2024, the expected construction date, to roll around.