CLAY CO. (KFDX/KJTL) Henrietta residents are giving their opinions on the U.S. Highway 82 expansion project.
TxDOT officials hosted an open house and public hearing on a proposed project to widen a portion of U.S. 82 from Henrietta to Nocona on Monday. The expansion would take the two-lane highway and turn in it into a four-lane divided highway. Henrietta resident Jim Lyde said he had some concerns before the meeting but all of his questions were answered.
“I think it will be helpful,” Lyde said. “I just hope it doesn’t create more problems than it solves because it involves the school district. Students leaving and coming to school and going home on highway 82 there. I would hate to see anything make that situation any worse.”
The stretch of road that will be expanded is a little more than 24 miles. At the Ringgold area where U.S. 82 and 81 intersect, TxDOT officials are proposing some improvements to that interchange that’s going to add some safety, but it’s also going to better accommodate some of the large loads that go through that area. Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said he has some concerns over this potential expansion.
“As we increase traffic just funneling it into downtown Henrietta there’s going to be greater chances for accidents here because of increase traffic and the narrowness of the roads that are there,” Campbell said.
This was the second to last meeting ahead of a meeting in Nocona which will be the last opportunity for residents to voice their opinions.
“It is your last chance to get any formal notes into the public hearing when you get up for the portion for the public,” TxDOT official Adele Lewis said. “And you speak that’s going by court reporter into the official notes for the project to go to the federal government.”
With the meeting in Nocona being the last, it’s now up to the residents to have their voices heard before it is too late. The meeting in Nocona will be Tuesday at the Veranda Inn at 1523 E. Highway 82 at 5 p.m.
If all goes as planned, construction would start in Nocona in 2021. Then in 2023 TxDOT officials are proposing to go from Ringgold to the Clay/Montague county line, and then in 2025 they’ll go from the county line to Bryant Edwards, and then in 2027 they’ll go from Bryant Edwards into Henrietta