WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As part of the Unified Transportation Program through TxDOT, $85 billion will be going toward major roadway projects throughout the entire state.
This is a $50 billion increase from the previous $34.3 billion received back in 2013. Out of the $85 billion, the Wichita Falls District will be receiving roughly $1.1 billion from the program, in which the district will have 10 years to utilize the funds.
“We have never had this much money building this many projects, ever; it just keeps going up,” Lewis said.
Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer, Adèle Lewis said the money from the Unified Transportation Program is going to be crucial in helping to get some major highway projects completed.
“It is going to affect Wichita Falls because it means the most highly-anticipated and needed projects will now be funded through this program,” Lewis said.
Projects like the widening of Highway 82 between Henrietta and Nocona, which $26 million will go toward, as well as what they call the “Gap Project”.
“That’s the nickname for it, and we will be getting money for that project to also move forward in the form of 18 million dollars,” Lewis said. “We’re widening that roadway to put in 10-foot shoulders on both sides and putting in a continuous left turn lane down the center of the roadway.”
Something that could possibly help lower the number of accidents in that area, Lewis said another big project in the works is amping up Highway 114.
“State Highway 114 is going to be expanded from just a two-lane road to what we call a super two – it’s a three-lane highway, but each direction takes turns alternating a passing lane,” Lewis said. “So when you’re stuck on such a narrow road like that with lots of traffic, every two miles you’re going to be able to pass safely with this passing lane added to your side.”
Lewis said a large portion of the funds will go toward 21 miles of I-35 that the Wichita Falls District maintains.