TxDOT proposes new $30 million project

Published: Nov. 22, 2014 at 12:17 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2015 at 10:53 PM CST
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Amarillo, TX - A multi-level freeway to help clear traffic near south I-27 and Loop 335 as Amarillo's population grows is being proposed by TxDOT.

The new project is expected to make major positive changes for the city, however some homeowners say they don't know what to think.

The metropolitan planning organization asked for a study to be done to see how traffic volumes would affect the city in 30 years as the population rises.

Paul Braun, Spokesperson for TxDOT, said the studies show if nothing is done now, traffic would be at a virtual standstill 30 years down the road.

"15,000 people a day are moving into Texas, and in the next 30 years our population in the state could possibly double and some of those people are going to be coming to Amarillo," Braun said.

TxDOT said its new 30 million dollar project is needed to conform to local planning efforts, enhance mobility, increase traffic efficiency, and provide a safer traveling environment to roadway users. The roadway of interest is Loop 335 to south I-27, which will be converted into a freeway, allowing commercial vehicles to avoid going downtown.

In order to do so, a new interchange would be built.

"The main interchange I-27 is going to be at this point a three level," Braun said. "The frontage roads will be on the lower level, we'll build a new 6 lane bridge for I-27 over those frontage roads, and then we will build a six lane bridge over that and that'll be the loop."

With the expansion of the new project, the loop will expand past Soncy, affecting some homes, forcing the homeowners to move. One homeowner said he has lived in his house 11 years, and he is understanding of how the project will improve the city. However he says he feels he is in limbo as to whether he is in favor of or against the project, which is costing him his home.

The project will go into bid September 2016 and will take 2.5 years to complete. 

TxDOT hopes this project will pave the way for the future development of the loop to be reconstructed into a freeway around the entire city, costing nearly $600 million.