TxDOT shifts Toll 49 control to region
Texas Department of Transportation officials officially transferred control of Toll 49 to the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority Thursday.
On Saturday, officials will celebrate the transfer and the decadelong relationship that made Toll 49 a reality. Toll 49 is not expected to be open to traffic until the tentative date of March 29.
Mike Battles, general engineering consultant with Atkins, the NETRMA's general contractor, said the collaboration between the NETRMA, which was established in 2003 and TxDOT gave the project more funding options, which sped the completion of the 26-mile outer loop.
"Saturday is the culmination of the partnership to make Toll 49 a reality," he said.
State and local leaders are expected to attend the ceremony. The public is welcome, Battles said.
Battles said residents hoping to attend the ceremony should enter via Interstate 20. Attendees driving from Tyler should cross the interstate at Farm-to-Market Road 839 and take eastbound Interstate 20 to the entrance of Toll 49. He said signs should direct traffic to the site.
The site is still considered an active construction area and attendees should use caution, he said.
Battles said crews will continue finishing touches on Toll 49, including final road side completion, striping, and placing signage and signals.
"Transferring Toll 49 to the NETRMA is a key milestone for those who have seen the vision of a high-speed loop around Tyler become a reality," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. "Through regional cooperation setting regional priorities, this highway not only continues to be a lever in enhancing economic development and business activity, it also improves quality of life in the region."