Debt-free Gregg County agrees to fix problematic FM 2208 interse - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Debt-free Gregg County agrees to fix problematic FM 2208 intersection

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - People who live in a neighborhood northeast of Longview say they're happy to know something will be done about a dangerous intersection on their commutes. But even though it involves a state highway, it's Gregg County that's footing the entire bill.
County commissioners say it's one of many road projects made possible because the county is debt-free.
David Freeman is one of at least 8,300 people who drive through the intersection of FM 2208 and Smelley Road every day. Several years ago, his son was involved in a wreck here.
"He was carried to the hospital," Freeman remembers. "He wasn't hurt, but he could've been. The car was tore up bad."
There have been fatal wrecks here. Neighbors have long pleaded with local governments and state transportation engineers to do something about it.
"The population is growing so big north of town that it's impossible to get out of that intersection," Freeman said. "Unless you just jump out in front of somebody, you're going to be there a good fifteen, twenty minutes, probably."
TxDOT said it didn't have the money to fix the intersection. So last week, Gregg County opened its wallet
Commissioners agreed to pay for designing and building new left-turn lanes - all $480,000.
Commissioners have already committed tens of millions of dollars since 2007 on county infrastructure - making Texas 149 safer, widening Texas 42, extending George Richey Road, building a new animal shelter - all without borrowing money.
Take a look at this map from the state comptroller's office.
Gregg County is one of a handful of East Texas counties that is debt free.
So when people like David Freeman say roads like FM 2208 need fixing, Gregg County commissioners can respond
"All the people on our road are just excited about it," Freeman says.
Construction on fm 2208 is expected to start in late spring.
To learn more about state, county, municipal and school or special district debt, click here.
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