Area residents provided feedback this week about a proposal to widen a farm-to-market road that stretches between Tyler and Whitehouse.
The Texas Department of Transportation hosted the open house meeting Tuesday at Brown Elementary School in Whitehouse to provide information and hear from residents regarding the coming work on Farm-to-Market Road 2964, also known as Rhones Quarter Road.
Under the proposal, the existing two-lane road would become four lanes from State Highway 110 in Tyler south to FM 346 in Whitehouse. The project also includes a continuous left-turn lane as well as adding sidewalks and a lane for cyclists, according to the TxDOT website.
This was the second public meeting TxDOT held to receive public input on this project, TxDOT spokesperson Kathi White said.
“It’s an opportunity for interested citizens to come in and provide feedback on a proposed project,” White said. “They can get one-on-one and ask their specific questions.”
Feedback from those who attended the first public meeting in March was used to adjust the proposal in an effort to accommodate citizen opinions. The agency also will consider feedback received during Wednesday’s meeting and potentially adjust the proposal again.
The proposal will use Thistle Drive as a connection from State Highway 110 (Troup Highway) to Shiloh Road. The road will then continue on as Rhones Quarter and become four lanes under the current recommendation, according to maps presented at the Wednesday meeting.
Attendees viewed maps of the areas that could be affected by this expansion and asked TxDOT officials their questions.
Lucy Taft, a 16-year resident of the Williamsburg Village subdivision, thinks this expansion will lead to increased noise, pollution and a mass exit of residents. She believes the project would lower area property values.
“It’s totally turning our lives upside down,” Taft said. “I’m not going to love it when I hear car horns.”
Taft said there are other ways to better Rhones Quarter, such as a turning lane or a lower speed limit.
Hal Wells, a recent Granbury Court subdivision resident, said the addition will help reduce traffic in the area.
“I think it’s something that needs to be done to cut down on traffic in Rhones Quarter. I’m all about having wide lane roads,” Wells said
Jane Milner, a 13-year resident of the area, said the addition would improve traffic and have a minimal impact on homeowners.
“We understand that with the growth and the traffic, it’s inevitable,” Milner said.
The next step is a formal hearing in the spring, before the final approval, White said. She added that right of way acquisitions are scheduled to begin in 2021 through 2022.