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Funding for the $113 million dollar project to expand Tyler, Texas' Old Jacksonville Hwy. is looking a lot differently today than when originally unveiled. During the Tuesday meeting of the Tyler Metropolitan Planning Organization, it was unveiled that the state of Texas is going to be responsible for a smaller portion of this major expansion.

Anyone driving FM 2493/Old Jacksonville Hwy. knows that traffic on this roadway can quickly become highly congested. It was about a decade ago that a portion of Old Jacksonville Hwy. was expanded from a two-lane road to four lanes with a continuous left turn lane from Grande Blvd. to FM 2813 in Gresham. This project alleviated congestion for a few years, but with a population explosion happening in this portion of south Tyler, Flint, and Smith County, the road has become congested once again.

Expansion on this roadway is needed. During the meeting about the expansion, Michael Howell, Tyler Metropolitan Planning director, said,

Originally it was proposed to be 100% state funding and now there’s an update that it’s actually 80% federal funding. We did adopt the plan as it was originally shown, but they realized it was an error that was reported to us and went ahead and made a correction on that.

The entire project is expected to cost $113 million and will dramatically change the look of this corridor. Construction is expected to begin on this project in 2026 according to KETK. At this time, drivers will have to endure construction headaches for a few years, but the payoff will be worth it.

The expansion project will include widening Old Jacksonville Hwy. from Tyler's Loop 323 to FM 2813 in Gresham from four lanes to six lanes with raised medians, dedicated left turn lanes, sidewalks, and improved lighting. One of the biggest additions will be an overpass at the intersection of W. Grande Blvd. at Old Jacksonville Hwy. TXDOT has already moved forward with right-of-way land purchases along the affected corridor.

Living in this part of town and relying upon this road to get me to and from work, I welcome this expansion. The only thing is I wish there wasn't so much opposition to an overpass at the intersection of Loop 323 at Old Jacksonville Hwy. In my opinion, this intersection is still going to be congested and backed up, especially during high peak traffic times. If there is going to be construction at this intersection to accommodate the expansion, go ahead and do it all at once.

Feel free to let me know how you feel about this expansion project. Drop me an email anytime.

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