In a recent Gregg County Commissioners Court a loan was approved for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to widen Hwy 31.
The Gregg County Judge on the case, Bill Stoudt, who approved the $200,000 loan says the step toward the highway expansion is necessary.
“It’s long overdue. It needed to be done for many years and I’m just excited TxDOT has got it on their work plans,” Stoudt said.
TxDOT announced that preliminary work is being done from FM 1639 near Kilgore to Loop 323 in Tyler. According to Stout, Gregg County’s portion of the project runs to the Smith County line, which the county plans to assist with.
Single lanes will be widened into two lanes with one continual turn lane.
Stoudt said it’s a project that’s been discussed for about six years and a better roadway has been needed for some time.
“It’s going to correct an issue that I think has been out there for many years. A number of people have lost their lives and hopefully we’ll cut that back if not stop it,” Stoudt said.
The Judge said TxDOT will fund construction.
“Right of way acquisitions that we’re responsible for and we decided to finance it through TxDOT’s Land Bank, which is basically you borrow money for a very, very low interest rates and pay it back fairly quickly,” Stoudt said.
The county will not be impacted by the $200,000 loan all at once. There will be no additional taxes because of the project.
TxDOT has started design work and began preliminary public meetings.
The bidding process is set to start in 2030.
Source: East Texas 7 KLTV