The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

January 28, 2013

Using alternative route

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

To the citizens of Greenville  — Greenville is being presented with either a blessing or a curse. I urge you to speak to and in volume to your elected city officials concerning the toll road connection through town. Please don’t allow them to take the easy way out. They are (so it seems) letting private company engineers and lawyers talk us into a route that is a win for them/loss for us. They want to build a thoroughfare through Greenville, from Division Street overpass, west along Hemphill and Marshall going behind Johnson Street Church of Christ.

It will take out the rest of Hemphill, Marshall and Caddo. Removing, Texas Tire & Wheel, CB’s Hamburgers, Church’s Chicken and others, along with hundreds of houses removed from tax roll. Imagine the gas, phone and electrical interruptions and the hazardous environment created in a residential area. It will be hard at best to conduct daily needs for all. I understand that they proposed two exit points and our officials are asking for four. Wow. That would be the only concession Greenville gets. The private company gets an almost straight and fast way to get through (not to) Greenville, Texas. In speaking with a high ranking city official, their main reason for endorsing that route is because the City of Greenville owns about 40 pieces of property along that route (I guess  it can conveniently get out from under them this way).

I proposed another route to him. What I showed him was a smooth arch, starting at the intersection of Forrester and east Lee Streets. Make an arch to Dalton Street. Follow to the end of Dalton (City also owns lots along this path) and curve down below where Gillespie meets Main. Continue the curve over and behind the Hacienda Villa apartments; and when you come to the train tracks mirror the curve of Hwy 380, then start your toll road.

Now imagine a hotel being built on that side of town instead of more Section 8 housing. Then a restaurant, a Costco, etc.; who knows who’s looking. Growth starts somewhere besides I-30.

Someone from the east needing to get to the airport may plan to stay in Greenville; maybe it is half way for them. They stay in Greenville, they spend in Greenville, and get an early start the next morning after breakfast in Greenville.

The official I talked to told me TxDOT will make them elevate the road through flood plain areas. Oops. This leads to negotiations. There will be plenty of flood plains between here and south of Lavon. Don’t give up that easy. Maybe instead get creative and at least check and see if the corps of engineers can channelize the Sabine River through this area like they did the South Sulphur River back in the ‘70s. I do not want to overly burden these people, but come on and lets do what is best for Greenville, Texas. Thank you for reading.


Jim Virgin