GRAYSON & FANNIN COUNTIES, TEXAS -- We're hearing this often -- Texoma is growing and is expected to continue to grow. TXDOT measures and anticipates that growth.
Their most recent response? To expand Highway 82 to four lanes from Bells to Bonham.
"This is the first step of many expansions going toward Lamar County," Noel Paramanantham said.
Highway 82 is doubling to four lanes.
"With the cities across North Texas expanding, there's a lot of growth in Sherman/Denison; there's a lot of growth in Fannin County and Lamar County. And also we have noticed that additional truck traffic from I-35 all the way to I-30 uses 82," Paramanantham said.
TXDOT says that in the past 15 years, traffic on 75 in Sherman/Denison has nearly doubled from 30,000 drivers to 60,000.
We can expect that same rate of growth over the next 15 years.
Now, 82 is experiencing a similar boom.
"So there's a lot of cross traffic between all these counties," Paramanantham said.
These two new lanes will service the increased traffic.
"As far as the traffic impacts, we will not have that much because most of the traffic is going to be traveling on the existing two lanes. All the construction is going to be away from the existing two lanes," Paramanantham said.
Another benefit: Paramanantham says this should make 82 safer.
Four lanes gives drivers more space: room that's necessary when you're traveling 70 miles per hour.
"The severity of the accidents will be greatly reduced," Paramanantham said.
TXDOT expects this project to be finished by May 2015.
The contractor has a more aggressive schedule, saying they can finish by August 2014.