Hwy. 77 project drawing to a close

By John Dilmore

A project to widen a section of Highway 77 (Pinecrest Drive) in Atlanta that has now been ongoing for approximately a year-and-a-half should soon be wrapping up, according to local Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials.
The work is “almost finished,” said Marcus Sandifer, public information officer for TxDOT’s Atlanta District. The contractor managing work on the project is H.H. Howard and Sons of Daingerfield.
“We gave them 28 months to do it,” Sandifer added, “so they are ahead of schedule.”
It’s hoped the work will be done by the end of the month. The project has widened a one-mile section of Highway 77 from the Union Pacific overpass to .3 miles east of FM 1841 (Bogie Street) from two lanes to four. The widening entailed 12-foot traffic lanes, a 14-foot turn lane, and concrete curbs and gutters on each side in place of the open ditches there before.
All in all, it’ll make for smoother traffic flow through that portion of the city.
Some safety concerns were also addressed along the way, Sandifer said. The intersections at FM 1841 and FM 251 (William Street) were reconfigured, work that included lowering the elevation of a hill and realigning the roadway in places.
At times, the extent of the work has led to intersections being closed and detours for motorists.
The work remaining includes striping and installation of new signalization at the FM 1841 and FM 251 intersections. FM 251 will get a traffic signal and there will be a flashing beacon installed at FM 1841.
Electronic message boards will be placed around the FM 251 traffic signal for some period of time before it becomes fully active, letting motorists know what to expect.
The fairly involved project, which has involved the relocation of utilities, cost $8,162,285.
Atlanta TxDOT District Engineer Glenn Green last week said, “We have appreciated the public’s patience and are proud to be able to provide a needed facility like that within Atlanta.”

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