Helium Road closes as TxDOT continues work on $1.5 billion State Loop improvements

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 7:53 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Starting today, drivers will not be able to access Helium Road in either direction as TxDOT begins work on sub-segment B-2 of the State Loop 335′s project development.

All southbound traffic will be detoured to Hillside Road, and northbound traffic detoured to I-40 by means of Soncy or Hope Road, as crews begin work on the Helium and 34th Avenue intersection.

Improvements planned to SL 335.
Improvements planned to SL 335.(TxDOT)

“We’re going to be [working] on the 34th Ave. tie-in, laying the footprint for that and make sure we can get 34th Ave. connected to the northbound frontage road which is already constructed,” explained Sonja Gross, public information officer for TxDOT Amarillo District. “While that’s going on we cannot have any traffic going in either direction because either way you’re going to hit 34th, that’s really one of the first intersections you hit in either direction.”

Sub-segment B-2 is expected to cost $277.2 million, with the entire State Loop 335 project estimating $1.5 billion.

“From FM 2590 to SW 9th Ave., which includes the I-40W three-level interchange and 7.9 miles of roadway, the total construction cost is 227.2 million dollars,” said Gross. “That’s not fully funded, portions of that are fully funded.”

Currently $44.9 million of the sub-segment project is funded, including the project to connect 34th Ave. to the Loop, which is TxDOT’s main focus for the foreseeable future.

TxDOT says these improvements will make Amarillo roadways safer for everyone.

“One main goal is the safest, most efficient way to move that truck traffic through Amarillo,” said Gross. “So once this Western portion of the Loop gets completed, we’ll be able to divert that truck traffic westward and northbound and back up to the connector of the Loop. Being able to move truck traffic off of I-27 going downtown and off of Soncy or Coulter and on to the new Loop, that will improve safety.”

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