AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With funding and a contractor in place, TxDOT is ready to move forward with a $46.8 million project to create frontage roads for the new segment of State Loop 335 at Helium Road.
“… and that will be the first phase of several phases that will both relocate SL 335 and also expand SL 335 to more of a freeway-type facility on the west side of Amarillo,” said TxDOT Amarillo District Engineer, Brian Crawford.
Crawford said this project will last about three years. He told us there are two purposes for the project–alleviating congestion on Soncy Road and creating a north-south corridor for traffic to pass through Amarillo without going through downtown.
The project will ultimately tie into work already underway from I-27 west to Soncy.
As the city expands to the south and west, City Manager Jared Miller told us expanding SL 335 is an important step.
“This is going to ease some of the transportation challenges we’re going to have as that growth happens. That growth will happen. With the loop, it’s going to be safer, it’s going to be more effective, and we’ll be able to more readily incorporate those new residents into our city as a whole and into our region as a whole,” said Miller.
Miller told us with another option for travel, downtown Amarillo will see less of a traffic burden, especially from trucks.
Amarillo drivers won’t see the change overnight.
“It will be more like 10 to 20 years before we complete the expansion around the western part of Amarillo,” said Crawford.
Also in attendance at today’s groundbreaking were State Representative Four Price and former mayor Paul Harpole, who was recognized for being essential in making the expansion projects a reality.