I-20 East Texas Corridor Study seeks public input

I-20 East Texas Corridor Study members seek public input on 55-year-old freeway

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Sometimes, it's as easy as coasting to your exit, and driving to your destination, but moving people and cargo across east Texas on Interstate 20 isn't always this simple.
Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt says Interstate 20 turns 55 this year.

"Cars have changed. Trucks are getting bigger and they carry heavier loads. All those things create a safety factor that has got to be addressed," he says.

When it was built,  there were 250,402 people living in the five East Texas counties between Dallas and Shreveport. Today, the U.S. Census estimates 564,109 people living in those counties. So while population has increased 125 percent, the freeway hasn't been widened, nor have any other major safety or capacity improvements been made.

"Smith and Gregg have the highest fatality rate of I-20," the judge says, "and there's a lot of reasons for that, a lot of choke points."

Now members of a group looking for ways to improve I-20 want your input any way they can get it - from sending your opinion to the Texas Department of Transportation, to visiting local chambers of commerce and service clubs.

"If nothing else, write it down on a piece of paper, or email us. Our address is pretty easy - greggcounty.com - you'll find us."

Frontage roads, entrance/exit ramps, conflict points, extra lanes or traffic - that's just the start of this conversation about Interstate 20. Members of the study group say they also want to look at the available land to develop higher speed rail service between Dallas and Shreveport, if it becomes a reality.

"You've got so much land on either side of I-20 you've got to account for if that rail ever does take place and if there is a way to put it in place, to make sure you take that into consideration," Stoudt says.

But first, the study group wants to know what you think.

To learn more about the Interstate 20 East Texas Corridor Study, click here.

To email your opinion, click here.


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