DELTA COUNTY - A major highway project that has been slowly coming together over the past few decades is now about three years away from completion.
The Texas Transportation Commission has approved the distribution of funds that will allow for the expansion of the 10.4 mile section of State Highway 24 between Commerce and Cooper from two lanes to four.
The estimated $30.9 million project is part of $5 billion in Proposition 12 bonds that were first approved by voters and then authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2007. Construction contracts for the first $2 billion in projects; which are to address congested highways, rehabilitate bridges and improve connectivity between the state's metropolitan areas, were approved in 2010.
Trey Turner is the public relations officer with TxDot’s Paris District Office, which serves nine area counties. He says officials will go out for bids on the Highway 24 project in late 2013, with construction to take 20-24 months. The stretch of road to be widened runs from the Hunt/Delta County Line to BU-24D, south of Cooper.
According to a press release, TxDOT worked in partnership with Metropolitan Planning Organizations, cities, counties and corridor associations to identify and prioritize needs. TxDOT held meetings with stakeholders and conducted public hearings, including the department's first statewide hearing via video teleconference. Much of this intensive public involvement effort was conducted and completed in just four months.