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The State of Texas plans to invest $410 million in Huntsville, improving the infrastructure along Interstate 45 (I-45) for residents and freight moving through the corridor. According to Doug Marion, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Project Engineer, the “once-in-a-generation” plan will widen the thoroughfare to six lanes, increase the vertical clearance of main lane bridges, provide pedestrian and bicycle routes along the frontage road, and add collector-distributor roads.
Marion was present at the July 19 City Council meeting to present plans for the widening of the I-45 corridor. There are two planned segments within the Central Walker County Project that are currently under design by TxDOT – Segment 2A and 2B.
To assist citizens in understanding and staying informed during the process, City Engineer Y. S. “Ram” Ramchandra announced a new webpage, featuring the proposed construction, schematics, and a traffic simulation video.
“Our hope is that the information on the website will keep our citizens informed on the process as it happens,” said Ramchandra. “With the addition of collector-distributor roads, drivers will benefit by bypassing signals at intersections, reducing traffic buildup at lights.”
Ramchandra added the City has been working with TxDOT officials to design an optimal system for Huntsville residents and visitors.
Segment 2A is anticipated to be a 4.4-mile long project entirely within the city limits of Huntsville, from 0.3 miles north of State Highway 19 to 0.9 miles north of State Highway 30. TxDOT is scheduled to begin construction in September 2020, which will take 3 to 4 years to complete.
According to TxDOT, the expansion to six lanes will include reconstruction and realignment of the main lanes and ramps; development of better drainage structures and bridges; and improvements to frontage roads, crossroads adjacent to new ramps, and interchanges. The collector-distributor road will run parallel to main lanes and connect to frontage roads.
Segment 2B is expected to be a 4.7-mile long project, largely in the city limits of Huntsville, from State Highway 30 to 0.7 miles south of FM 1696. Preliminary design of this segment is underway. The construction letting date for segment 2B has not been established. This segment would also widen to six lanes but would also require relocating the in at Highway 75, San Jacinto Street at Spur 59, and Moffett Springs Road.
The public can view displays on the two segments during an open house at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 9, at the Walker County Storm Shelter, 455 Highway 75. The open house will be followed by a public hearing on Segment 2A at 6 p.m.
Log on to www.HuntsvilleTx.gov/I-45. For more information on the webpage, call 936-294-5700; for more information on the August 9 public hearing and open house, contact the local TxDOT office at 936-295-3462.