The project widening US 175 through Henderson County is nearing completion, with a traffic shift near Poynor on Tuesday the latest development.
Eastbound traffic has been moved from the outside to the inside lane, as paving and other tasks are underway on the Poynor to Frankston Stretch.
The widening project is two-decades in the making. In the year 2000, discussions concerning the Larue to Frankston leg of the construction was reported to be underway. The scope of the work is expanding US 175 from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway with a depressed median.
Among the current tasks are seeding and grading and installation and repair of storm waste pollution prevention plan items.
The stretch from Poynor to Frankston is the third phase of the $27.6 million construction. Phase 1 was from near FM 804 near Baxter to 1.1 miles east of Loop 60 in Larue. Phase II was the Larue to Poynor stretch.
A portion of US 175, that went through downtown Poynor is now designated 175-H. That section is approximately one mile long. The traffic change on Tuesday is on the stretch of the highway that bypasses the business route.
The US175 widening project was designed part of the Unified Transportation Program, a 10-year plan to guide and fund transportation-project development in the state.
The 175 widening began in 2006 to improve the 14.5 mile stretch between Mabank and Athens. The portion from Eustace eastward was completed in 2009, and opened to traffic. Next came the part between the Kaufman County line and Eustace.
The phase was on the drawing board for construction for several years, but had to be delayed, due to a lack of funding.
U.S. 175 is important as part of s statewide trunk-system project, which was developed to help ease traffic congestion on Texas interstates. The transportation commissioners identified State Highway 31 and U.S. 175 as the secondary roads from the interstate through Henderson County.
US 175 received its designation on July 1, 1932. At about 110 miles, US 175 is the shortest three-digit highway in the national system.