By BRAD KELLAR
State transportation officials have big plans to widen State Highway 66, one of the key routes between Greenville and Rockwall, at least where it passes through Rockwall County.
At the moment however, there are no indications the highway is set for expansion through Hunt County.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has scheduled a public meeting Feb. 28, concerning the proposed reconstruction and widening of State Highway 66 between State Highway 205/Goliad Street in Rockwall to FM 1777, which intersects with East Main Street in Royse City.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Herndon Middle School, 300 Blackland Road in Royse City. The proposed project calls for the reconstruction and widening of the highway from the existing two lanes to a four-to-six lane divided highway along the approximately 10 miles between Royse City and Rockwall. Portions of the highway are to be realigned to a two-lane, one-way highway. Approximately 97 acres of additional right-of-way and seven acres of drainage easements are expected to be required along the route.
The TxDOT project tracker web site (www.txdot.gov/apps-cq/project_tracker/projectquery.htm) indicates the $17.74 million project has been funded.
But there are no plans to do the same for the highway in Hunt County, where it remains as a two-lane roadway.
“Our Greenville Area Office does not show any plans on Highway 66 in the foreseeable future,” said Tray Turner, public information officer with TxDOT’s Paris District Office.
The project tracker for Hunt County does indicate that the $1.57 million widening of FM 1565, between State Highway 66 and Interstate 30, which began in October 2011, is 93 percent complete.