Apr 18, 2013 2:07 PM by Janine Reyes
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Plans to extend the Crosstown Expressway moved one more step forward today when the Texas Department of Transportation briefed the Metropolitan Planning Organization. They'll likely start breaking ground by this summer.
With more drivers making their way on SH 286 past Saratoga, comes the need for more lanes and a quicker commute. That's why TxDOT is moving forward on its $30 million plan.
"We already see congestion there, we have congestion on Weber and at the 4 way stop at the landfill," said Rickey Dailey with TXDOT.
The plan is to extend the highway past Saratoga beyond Weber (FM 43) eventually making for a quicker commute. Until then, there'll be 3 years of construction traffic.
"I think part of moving forward is you have to deal with those issues sometimes, so, its going to be taxing at times with the construction process going on around us," Bay Area Fellowship Pastor John Atkinson said. He told us they only recently learned of plans to extend the expressway.
He's not looking forward to the construction, but he is looking forward to the end result. About 6,000 people attend services there every weekend.
On Sundays, with just 30 minutes between the end of the 10:00 a.m. service and the beginning of the 11:30 a.m. service, they already see traffic troubles.
"We have to get a lot of people off this campus and a lot of people back on, so there are some challenges with just the two lanes on each side, getting on and off the property," explained Atkinson.
The plans include raising the bridge over the Oso Creek and creating overpasses at Weber and at the JC Elliott Landfill, areas that flooded in 2010. That will address safety issues down the road.
Atkinson says while construction will bring chaos, he plans remind Bay Area parishioners to be patient with progress. "We'll just challenge our people to bare with us and let the process go and we'll do the best we can to keep things moving forward in the meantime,"said Atkinson.
TXDOT is taking public comments on the project until April 22nd, that's Monday.
Bidding is set to begin in June with construction slated to start by the end of this summer.