TxDOT addresses concerns over Highway 82 safety

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A business owner on Highway 82 said something needs to happen soon after yet another car wreck near her business Tuesday, this time claiming a local man’s life.

The fatal rollover near Turkey Ranch Road has residents and business owners expressing their concerns over speeding and having no turning lanes.

TxDOT held multiple meetings with stakeholders and public hearings in the past to find the best solution for all in the community.

J- Systems sits on Highway 82 just east of Turkey Ranch Road.

The owner is ready for improvements to what she calls a dangerous highway.

“It’s just scary to even come down this road and if we can avoid it, we do,” J-Systems owner Kim Swaydan said.

However, to get to work Swaydan can’t avoid it.

She said the safety concern even helped make the decision to move from her old home about a mile from the shop.

“Our daughter, she was getting her drivers license, she would pull out and she almost got rear-ended by a semi that was going over 70 miles an hour and we just decided it was too dangerous, we put our house up for sale and moved to town,” Swaydan said.

TxDOT is also ready to see this extensive project get off paper and into construction, but funding is lacking add the move to wider lanes and a continuous center turn lane is expensive.

“We have to compete against every other part of the state including the big dogs over there in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin so we are competing for money,” TxDOT Wichita Falls public information officer Adele Lewis said.

They need funds to purchase right of way on both sides of Highway 82 hoping to work on building this by 2025.

However, business owners and residents may see a slight improvement by 2022.

“We are going to be putting in left-turn bays right here at Parker Ranch Road and at Clyde Morgan, these areas have seen a lot of residential growth over the last few years, like this whole area has, and getting out on and off this highway is a little dicey,” Lewis said.

Frustration with the highway’s safety continues while TxDOT officials remind folks that it doesn’t happen overnight.

TxDOT officials are working with consultants right now to finish plans to present at another public meeting sometime in the next few months.

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