DENISON, Tex.-- The FM 691 and US 75 intersection is the border between Sherman and Denison and the next spot for big development. Denison officials are working to make sure the traffic flow remains smooth with all the growth.
There are plans for a new hospital, hotel, and restaurants at the intersection. With thousands of people expected to drive to these destinations, city officials want to find the safest way for cars to reach these places.
The cars exiting US 75 wait at a stop sign, dodging the cross traffic at FM 691 whizzing by.
"Sometimes it takes quite a while the traffic there doesn't stop and very rarely does it slow down," says Jo Gray, owner of Loose Wheels, a bar located off Pool Rd. near the intersection.
Denison city leaders have big plans for the spot. Texoma Medical Center intends to build a new hospital there. Cigna is already open. A new hotel and convention center is on the books, plus plans for much more.
"There are going to be a lot of proposed development there. We need to know the best way to handle all that traffic off 75 and off 691," says Tom Speakman, director of community development for the city of Denison.
On Monday the city council plans to hire a consultant to determine the best way for cars to navigate through the developed areas. The Sherman Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization is conducting a study for the entire 691 corridor: from Texoma Parkway to the airport and the new Highway 289. That study would not address areas north and south of 691. That's where the city study comes in.
"If we start the planning process now we'll be able to alleviate a lot of congestion and along that if we have a system in how to move traffic in and out of the area safely and effectively I think that will enhance the traveling public," Speakman says.
The plans could mean turning some private streets into public thoroughfares, and a drastically different look for the area in just a few years.
The 691 corridor study would determine if the intersection needs more traffic lights and wider lanes, conducted by the Sherman Denison MPO. The Denison study would address the areas where the development is supposed to go.
The same consultant is set to conduct both studies to provide results for the area as one cohesive unit.