TxDOT is putting the brakes on road widening projects in our area. While some regret that decision, one local truck driver is relieved.
Debra Beard wants no more room on I-27. "I don't see the need for it, I don't think the congestion is bad enough, and I think our tax dollars could probably go for something else," says Beard.
Thanks to rising construction costs, it's a project Beard won't see anytime soon. TxDOT district engineer Mark Tomlinson says the idea behind the axed widening plan on I-27 and elsewhere was to ease future congestion. "What we like to do is stay ahead of that growth if we can by providing new lanes and new capacity so you never see a congestion problem.
Unfortunately I think unless this changes in the next ten years you'll start to see congestion problems in Amarillo," says Tomlinson. But Beard is not so sure. "I would prefer it to be later or not at all," she says. Beard admits she'd rather avoid construction headaches on I-27, but also the price tag that comes with improvements there.
"If they widen the roads then there's gonna be more money, more tax money to maintain the roads now that they have more roads to maintain. So yeah, I'm glad that they're not able to do it right now."