Transportation plan

The Hunt County Commissioners Court has approved the latest projects in the county’s transportation plan.

The Hunt County Commissioners Court has signed on the latest updates to the 2016 road bond package, which will involve multiple projects between Royse City and Greenville.

The commissioners also voted to seek additional funding from the Texas Department Of Transportation.

The commissioners were scheduled June 22 to approve work authorizations for road bond work under an agreement with Freese and Nichols.

W.D. “Dee” Hilton with the Hunt County Transportation Steering Committee provided an update on the status of the work which is planned in the county during the next few years.

In February the commissioners approved the payment of the latest $6 million in bonds, as part of the $24 million road bond package passed by voters in November 2016.

“At that time, the plan was to spend the money over a three-year period, out through 2023,” Hilton said, with the funding to pay for engineering the remaining projects in the road bond package in order to make them “shovel ready.”

At that time, the projects included improvements/additions/replacements to Highway 24 in Commerce and the interchanges along Interstate 30 at FM 1570, as well as FM 1903 and FM 36.

But Hilton said there have been some major changes in the forecast since then, especially with the FM 1903/FM 36 project

“That one now is scheduled to join with FM 6 just west of Caddo Mills to create a regional road that will give access from the Wylie, Nevada, Josephine area all the way to Interstate 30, so that will be a great project,” Hilton said.

Hilton explained that in discussions with TxDOT and the North Central Texas Council of Governments it was learned that billions of dollars of projects along Interstate 35 and in the Houston area were scheduled to be delayed, potentially freeing up additional funding for efforts along Interstate 30.

Hilton recommended the commissioners authorize the above Hunt County projects in order to have them ready as soon as possible.

“So they will be ready to go, if there is funding available, in the latter part of 2022,” Hilton said.

The projects are currently scheduled to be let for bids in 2025.

“And if we can move them up by two to three years, that would be a great benefit to our county,” Hilton said. “It would be a real boon, I think to transportation and capacity in Hunt County if we can get this done.”

Hilton said the shifting of the projects was due in part to rising property values, which is effecting TxDOT’s obtaining of rights of way along the roadways.

“They’re running short of money,” Hilton said, adding it could effect the eventual status of the FM 1903/FM 36 project, which will not follow any existing farm to market road in its path to connect with FM 6.

The commissioners approved a resolution asking TxDOT to provide the county with additional construction materials, should any be available.

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