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TxDOT sets meetings for I-20 corridor projects - Odessa American: Traffic & Transportation

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TxDOT sets meetings for I-20 corridor projects

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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 4:30 am

Texas Department of Transportation has scheduled two public meetings aimed to discuss improvements on Interstate 20 in Ector and Midland counties.

Both meetings are set to begin at 5 p.m. The first will be Monday at Midland Horseshoe’s Education Building and the second is Tuesday at the Zant Community Room at Odessa College.

Gene Powell, TxDOT Odessa District public information officer, said it’s important for the public to voice their opinion about the proposed changes on Interstate 20. The total cost for the 13-project proposal is more than $830 million.

“We all live and work here,” Powell said. “We drive these roads too and while the engineers are trained professionals and they have the background and the experience to look for things, nobody is perfect. To hear people bring things up that are pertinent them, it’s going to be pertinent to somebody else. We won’t always be able to accommodate those views. We won’t always be able to accommodate those opinions, but it’s important to hear them and make changes where we can.”

The meetings in Midland and Odessa will cover the same content.

Powell said the meetings will present proposed improvements along the nearly 40-mile stretch of Interstate 20 from Farm-to-Market Road 1936 in Ector County to east of Business Interstate 20 in Midland County.

The proposals include new interchanges with overpasses, redesign of existing overpasses, relocating ramps, service road improvements, converting service roads to one-way frontage roads and adding main lanes in each direction.

James Beauchamp, president of Midland Odessa Transportation Alliance, said he believes the public needs to hear the information TxDOT will present.

“It’s necessary because of the growth, because of the congestion and the traffic that we are seeing on I-20,” Beauchamp said. “All the types of comprehensive changes that we are looking at from one end to the other also affect people’s ability to access locations along the interstate.

“While there are positives that can come out of this, there’s also things that people need to be aware of and need to be educated about.”

The meetings will feature high-level schematic drawings of the entire corridor. Powell said some of the drawings will be aerial shots, while others will be renderings of the stretches of interstate.

There will be discussions about right of ways, traffic control devices, utility relocations, funding and construction timelines in specific areas will vary in depth since project-level details have not been developed on some phases.

Powell said TxDOT is still searching for $670 million to fund the rest of the projects. Powell added making Interstate 20 into six lanes would likely be the last project on the list.

A change that is expected to receive some feedback is the possible conversion to one-way frontage roads. Powell reiterated that converting services roads from two-way to one-way is still only a proposal.

“It’s not a done deal,” Powell said. “It’s just a proposal. We want the public to come out and weigh in.”

Odessa, TX

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