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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Loop 49:

Loop 49 is a little highway project that will eventually connect I-20 with our little metropolis here in Smith County. That will also cut drive times to Dallas by 45 minutes.

One of the novel things about Loop 49 is that it will be without toll booths. Systems will be in place to scan each license plate, and those drivers without toll tags will be sent a toll bill in the mail. Those drivers will also have to pay an additional charge ($1 vs. 75ยข).

One of the disappointing features of the new loop is that it is going to be only two lanes, at least at first. I'm not sure what benefit there will be if traffic is slowed to the lowest common denominator. Eventually, the road is supposed to be widened to four lanes (two each way), but the estimated time to completion on that is unknown.

The complete loop from greater Smith County to I-20 will not be operational until 2010. Until then, we'll still have to live with the arduous drives out to the main highway. Hopefully, the tolls being placed on Loop 49 will accelerate its development. Certainly, I would drive more to Dallas if I had a more direct route, and Loop 49 should provide that.


.: posted by Dave 2:40 PM

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