Posted: Feb 11, 2013 6:21 PM by Morgan Frances - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 6:35 PM
THREE RIVERS - The Texas Department Of Transportation (TXDOT) began a big project today on State Highway 72 in Three Rivers that's largely due to the increase in traffic from the Eagle Ford Shale boom.
Traffic on State Highway 72 has increased 200 percent near Three Rivers in just the past two years. Now, instead of just under 3,000 people passing through the area, nearly 9,000 vehicles travel these roads daily; about 3,400 of those are big rigs.
"There's a lot more people here than we used to have," said Three Rivers resident, Yolanda Garza. "With the oil people and everything coming in and out, there's a lot more people here."
A lot more people flooding the area to work the Eagle Ford Shale means a lot more big rigs plowing down these narrow roads.
Another person who lives in Three Rivers, Wayne Billings, said, "When we're trying to turn into our street to make a left hand turn, the traffic behind us is sometimes so bad that we can't take a left hand turn."
Because of the increased traffic, TXDOT is making some improvements. It started a two-part project today on State Highway 72 that will accommodate the big rig traffic and hopefully make the roads safer to travel.
The first part is between Interstate 37 and US 281. Construction workers will widen the road that's already there and create a turn lane for people turning left. The second part starts at US 281 and goes 10 miles down State Highway 72 to the McMullen County line. At that section, workers are also going to widen the road to make room for a passing lane.
In addition to widening the road, TXDOT will also redo the surface of the road to make sure it can continue to handle the heavy traffic. A TXDOT spokesman expects the projects to take about 11 months but says it'll all be worth it if it makes the roads just a little bit safer.
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