By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
After waiting more than 20 years, most of the people who turned out to view maps for the relief route around Corsicana prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation were pleased with what they learned.
The state highway department has dedicated more than $45 million towards the project already, bringing it closer than it’s ever been to reality.
The scene of the meeting was the Cook Center, where the maps were spread on tables, and pinned to the walls. A dozen TxDOT employees answered people’s questions individually throughout the two hour session.
Gayle Horton was excited by the new maps. The last time the project was proposed, there weren’t access points onto the road. The crossings for this by-pass or half a loop, are at ground level, with overpasses and underpasses at Interstate 45 and U.S. 287. It will also cross two railroads, and the road will go over both of those.
“When we came to this meeting seven years ago there was not going to be a way for us to get on there,” Horton said. “Now, there’s going to be a stop sign. We like it better.
“We’ve been waiting for this for 20 years. We can hardly wait. This way, we can avoid going down Seventh Avenue,” she added.
Gene and Dean Ingham are also looking forward to the new road around the south side of Corsicana. They’ll lose a little corner of their family’s property to the road itself, but they’re excited about the possibilities for the rest of the land.
“We’re counting on the development on it,” Gene said. The brothers have already gotten a call from a land speculator, offering them money for their property. They turned it down — for now.
“We hope we live long enough to see it finished,” Dean said.
The road will go straight through the 330 acres owned by the Don Farmer family, including his sons Stan and Phil Farmer.
“It needs to be built, no doubt about it,” Phil Farmer said of the road.
Stan Farmer agreed. “We’ve been ready for it for years,” he said.
If they have one regret it’s that their mother didn’t get to see it. She passed away 15 years ago, and she was looking forward to seeing the relief route.
“She always wanted to see it,” Phil said.
Their land is always neatly kept, and has been in the family since 1872. That doesn’t mean they regret seeing the road come through, however. The Farmers are businessmen and land owners.
“We like to see growth,” Stan said.
If all goes well, and acquisition of the right of way property goes smoothly, the state could start letting out the contracts next summer or fall. For now, the next step will be to respond to the comments made Thursday and those made through the mail. Then there will be a formal hearing, then two or three more months to respond to those comments. Buying the land needed for the project could start by December of this year, explained Darwin Myers, area engineer for TxDOT.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com