Public scoping meeting set for US 69 Jacksonville
TYLER – Public input is requested on a proposed US 69 Jacksonville Relief Route. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will present proposed route alternatives for US 69 around the city of Jacksonville at a public scoping meeting from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14. The meeting will be held at the Norman Activity Center located at 526 E Commerce Street, Jacksonville.
TxDOT is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a US 69 relief route around Jacksonville. The come and go meeting will allow the public an opportunity to learn more about the EIS and the proposed project from TxDOT personnel and its consultants. Attendees can also provide much-needed feedback on the proposed route alternatives and get answers to their individual questions.
The project, with limits from the existing US 69 at Loop 456, extending north around the west side of the city to US 69, near Love’s Lookout, is designed to improve safety, mitigate congestion, enhance mobility, and provide an improved hurricane evacuation route.
The relief route will be a four-lane divided roadway with grade separations at railroad crossings and other priority corridors. It will require the acquisition of new right-of-way.
The meeting will be conducted in English with Spanish speaking staff on hand. Persons with special communication or accommodation needs, including language interpretation, should contact TxDOT at (903) 510-9100 at least two working days prior to the meeting. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate those needs.
Written comments related to the proposed project may be submitted at the meeting or mailed to Texas Department of Transportation, Advanced Project Development Office, 2709 W. Front Street, Tyler, Texas, 75702. Comments may also be emailed to JacksonvilleReliefRoute@txdot.gov.
To be included as part of the project’s official record, comments must be postmarked or received by Friday, Nov. 29.
US 69 is a north-south rural highway originating in Port Arthur, passing through Beaumont, Lufkin and Tyler, terminating in Denison. It services both intrastate and interstate traffic moving people and goods, and is a designated hurricane evacuation route providing safe passage for the Texas coastal areas of Beaumont and Houston/Galveston through Jacksonville.
Approximately eight miles of the highway go directly through the city with eight signalized intersections causing increased travel time and significantly reduced mobility.
Jacksonville experiences increased congestion and decline in efficiency during hurricane evacuations. Additionally, the highest concentration of traffic accidents in the city is along US 69 in the downtown area.
In 2018, TxDOT conducted a study to identify a feasible relief route alternative for the Jacksonville area. Although previous studies regarding a relief route were done, an updated study was warranted due to the population growth and changes in the surrounding land use.
The Feasibility Study looked at routes on the city’s east and west sides. Public meetings were hosted on Feb. 22, May 29 and Aug. 28.
Through public involvement and engineering analysis, the feasibility study recommended a western corridor. The recommendation reflects two potential tie-in points north of Jacksonville, while only endorsing a southern connection at the existing Loop 456.
The project’s schematic and environmental phase includes two public meetings and will determine a final route alignment.
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