Bonham residents voice concerns on SH 121 widening

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BONHAM, TX-A busy Fannin county roadway will be widened from two lanes to four lanes next week. Monday night, TxDOT held a public meeting to share their plans with residents and get their feedback.

TxDOT area engineer, David Selman, said more than 10,000 vehicles pass through State Highway 121 in Bonham everyday and they need to widen the highway to accommodate the heavy traffic. But at Monday's meeting, residents voiced their concerns about parts of the $7 million project.

Bill Munger lives along State Highway 121 in Bonham and said the heavy traffic makes it difficult just to pull out of his driveway.

"Sometimes I'll sit there for 15 to 20 minutes just to get out on the highway, and sometimes I take off when I shouldn't but you get a little frustrated. Maybe this widening of the highway would help," he said.

Munger and over a dozen other people attended Monday night's public meeting to learn about TxDOT's plans to widen 121 to four lanes between highways 82 and 56. Area engineer, David Selman said they will close one lane at a time for construction.

"First we're gonna construct in the east side of the roadway and start on the south and work up to the north. Hopefully by the time that we go up to the north side, school will be out," he said.

Selman said they will also add a 15 foot center median and one left turn lane on northbound 121 to access the Bonham Walmart and other businesses.
Rusty Deeds said the medians will do more harm than good.

"Walmart is a busy place and you got all the other businesses and I just have a hard time believing that one left hand turn lane is not gonna create a big problem," he said.

But Selman said the current two way left turn lanes are dangerous.

"There's more accidents because people can go anywhere they want to and you can have two vehicles coming into that two way left turn lanes at the same time," he said.

Munger suggested adding a traffic signal near Bonham High School during road construction.

"One of my big concerns is the intersection out there in Warpath and 121, there's a tremendous a lot of traffic and a tremendous amount of kids walking across there and they need a light," he said.

Selman said several factors will contribute to the decision to add traffic signals on Warpath and 121.

Construction will start Monday at the east side of 121 near Bonham High School. Selman said that portion will be finished in eight months..

The whole project is expected to be completed by September 2014.

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