Traffic backed up where Loop 335 turns into Soncy Road at I-40. Source: KFDA
Loop 335 segmented into construction project phases. Source: KFDA
The Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved TxDOT's proposition on Thursday to move forward with a 10 year plan for Loop 335 improvements.
Drivers can expect to see more construction starting next July, and plan on seeing that last for at least 10 years.
While that is not enough time to completely finish the loop, it does give TxDOT a set time line to finish the projects the city deems most important to fix.
City leaders were briefed Thursday on pages and pages of road improvement propositions, funding and time lines.
There's a lot planned, and it won't be long before drivers start seeing more road construction all over the city.
Phases 1 and 2 will start next summer on the south end of the loop.
"From just east of I-27 over to Soncy Road, and that's going to involve a new two level interchange," said Brian Crawford, District Engineer for TxDOT in Amarillo.
This will be the start of moving the loop west of Soncy to alleviate traffic in the area.
"We know that if you go down Soncy, all we built was a busy street," said Mayor Paul Harpole. "We want to have a full loop."
The southwest portion of the loop is the area city officials agree needs to be updated first.
Construction will also begin at the Interchange of the loop and I-27.
Another goal is to remove all the stoplights where the south loop intersects with Bell, Western and Georgia.
"You're going to see a much more free flowing system than we have in some areas of the city right now," said Crawford.
TxDOT and the MPO have just over $166 million to spend on this 10 year plan.
that sounds like a lot of money, but Harpole said it's not nearly enough.
"While we were given some promises on time lines before that were retracted," said Harpole. "Now we are looking at the funding we have and we're asking for more funding so we can get this full loop project back on track."
Harpole is not happy with the current plan, but will accept it and continue to push for more state funding to get the loop finished as fast as possible.