The Sherman Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization granted initial approval on Wednesday, for projects added to the 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Plan, which sets goals and a timeline for potential roadway projects and improvements. Included within the plan, are $12.1 in projected projects through 2018.
The board reviewed projects that have been planned for the 2015 fiscal year. Karl Welzenbach, director of the SDMPO, stressed that none of the projects have been set in stone, but they must be in the TIP in order to be funded as the organization receives money for improvements.
In 2015, the TIP includes four projected projects, including three on FM121, and one on U.S. Highway 75. The improvements listed for FM 121 include roadway widening at State Highway 289 and from Jim Jones Road to FM 3356. The TIP also lists alignment improvement between 289 and FM 3356. The TIP lists adding a weaving lane to 75 from Loy Lake Road to U.S. Highway 82 as a potential project. The TIP will now be sent forward for public input and approval from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The board also received an update from Rob Rae of Kimley-Horn and Associates on the proposed 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which will set guidelines and priorities for roadway projects for the next two decades. Rae said the initial stages of the project have been completed, and he expects to hold public meetings on May 1 to get public feedback on the MTP.
Rae said the next stage is to research a potential bicycle plan for the cities of Sherman and Denison. Rae said this stage would have two primary goals: to perform a sidewalk audit surrounding city schools and to survey local roadways to find which would be conducive to bicycle traffic.
The board also approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Association of Texas Metropolitan Planning Organizations and TxDOT regarding the agency’s proposed ‘turnback” program, which will return state highways that are used as local city streets to local municipalities. The program is not expected to affect any cities in the region.