Denison opens Hwy 91 overpass, creating safer route to new high school

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DENISON, TX -- It's been eight years in the works, but on Tuesday morning city officials opened the new Hwy 91 overpass.

Tony Kaai, Denison Development Alliance president, said it'll help businesses in the area - especially with the new high school going up down the street.

"And we're gonna have a lot of traffic on this highway, with the high school out on this end," he said. "We have a lot of industry out here that's growing, so it's a perfect thing for our community."

Noel Paramanantham, TX-DOT asst. area engineer, said they built the overpass because the previous intersection was dangerous to drivers.

"Anytime you have traffic crossing over a railroad track, there's always a potential for incidents to happen there," he said.

But it's been more than just potential.

"We've had fatalities here in the past," Kaai said. "So it was targeted because of safety."

However, the city struggled to secure money for the project - which caused delays.

"First there was federal funding, and then there wasn't. And then a few years later there was funding appropriated for this overpass, and then that went away," Kaai said.

They finally got funding for the project after Denison ISD decided to build the high school here along Hwy 91, he said.

"We had to have a highway overpass on that railroad for safety for our students," Kaai said.

Paramanantham said the project cost $6 million, paid through state safety bonds.

"So I think this bridge is going to be a huge safety factor for all commuters that will be using this roadway," he said.

The bridge is also pedestrian friendly, with a thick concrete wall protecting foot traffic from the road

Paramanantham said the walkway is important since it's next to businesses and the high school.

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