LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - For several years, the Texas Department of Transportation has wanted to build a Loop 281 bridge over the Union Pacific rail line, Farm-to-Market Road 2087 and Sabine Street in southwest Longview.
Ninety percent of the $16 million needed would come from a federal program aimed at removing street level rail crossings, such as the one in Midland where four people died on Nov. 15 during a veteran's parade.
Txdot spokesman Larry Krantz says raising Loop 281 above the tracks is about safety and easing traffic congestion.
"An overpass at that location, at least in theory, would provide mobility in that corridor," Krantz said.
Loop 281 overpass construction was to begin last spring, but fights in state courts over property rights have delayed work. A least a dozen different businesses own property in the area where would construction would take place, and it's been difficult getting everyone to either sell their land or cooperate.
"There are more conflicts that we've run into probably ever on a project that we've tried to do," Krantz said.