Texas State Highway Loop 49

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State Highway Loop 49 marker

State Highway Loop 49
Route information
Maintained by NET RMA
Length: 26.00 mi (41.84 km)
Approximately 45 mi upon completion
Existed: 1986 (first segment opened 2006) – present
Major junctions
CW end: I-20.svg I-20
  Texas 64.svg SH 64
Texas 31.svg SH 31
Texas 155.svg SH 155
US 69.svg US 69
Texas FM 756.svg FM 756
CCW end: Texas 110.svg SH 110
Highway system
Loop 48 Spur 50

Loop 49 (also called Toll 49) is a tollway that will, along with the existing Interstate 20, encircle the city of Tyler, Texas upon completion. Thus far, according to TxDOT, costs have exceeded $176 million. Projected total cost for the completed, divided four-lane highway is still unknown. Routing of the loop bypasses the north and west sides of Tyler and is not routed through the city center, interconnecting suburban areas and areas of potential development with I-20 West of Tyler and easier access to the DFW area. Total Smith County Road and Bridge Fund contributions to the project along with total Smith County general fund contributions by the end of fiscal 2013 are public information available on request .

History[edit]

Signage originally planned for use along Loop 49 if the road had not been set up for tolling.

The number was originally used for Spur 49 from SH 22 in Corsicana to the Corsicana State Orphans' home. In 1966, this route was removed from the state highway system. Plans to construct an outer loop around the city of Tyler, Texas began in the mid-1980s. The original plans called for a freeway to be built; however, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) determined that funds to build the freeway were not available, and that the road would not be built until 2033 using traditional funding methods.[1] In response, the NET RMA chose to build the highway as a tollway with an electronic toll system.

Construction began in August 2003 on the first 5-mile (8.0 km) segment (called Segment 1) extending east from SH 155 (Frankston Hwy) in Noonday to US 69 (Broadway Ave) in south Tyler. The road is a two-lane undivided highway, which will ultimately be expanded to a four-lane divided highway. The grand opening of Loop 49 took place on August 17, 2006.[2] Tolling began on November 27, 2006. Construction then continued east, with Segment 2, which extends 2.0 miles (3.2 km) from US 69 to FM 756 (Paluxy Dr), opening to traffic January 7, 2008. Due to a 2008 budget crisis at TxDOT,[3] construction on additional sections of the tollway was delayed more than two years. In 2010, construction began on Segment 5, which extends 2.6 miles (4.2 km) from FM 756 to SH 110 in Whitehouse. This section of the tollway, which was funded by Proposition 14 highway bonds, approved by Texas voters in 2003, opened to traffic June 28, 2012[4] after nearly 29 months of construction,[5] bringing the total length of the loop to 9.6 miles (15.4 km).

Construction on the western side of Loop 49 began with Segment 3A, which extends 5.9 miles (9.5 km) from SH 155 (Frankston Hwy) to SH 31 (Chandler Hwy). This segment was constructed using federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, after the Texas Transportation Commission approved its status as a stimulus project on March 5, 2009.[6] TxDOT awarded a $37.9 million construction contract three months later on June 10, and construction began in August.[7] Segment 3A opened to traffic November 9, 2012,[8] after approximately 39 months of construction. In an effort to speed completion of the west side of Loop 49 and connect it to Interstate 20, the NET RMA approved a plan in August 2009 to develop Segment 3B, the longest section of the toll road at 9.7 miles (15.6 km), using a nontraditional "design/build" process.[9] On October 28, 2010, the Texas Transportation Commission approved up to $90 million for the construction of Segment 3B through State Infrastructure Bank loans and a toll equity loan.[10] Construction on Segment 3B began on January 21, 2011,[11] and the segment opened to traffic on March 28, 2013, completing the 26-mile (42 km) loop from I-20 to SH 110.

On February 28, 2013, the Texas Transportation Commission voted to transfer ownership and maintenance of Loop 49 from TxDOT to the NET RMA.[12]

Future[edit]

Several future segments of Loop 49 are in preliminary planning stages, with no completion timeline currently scheduled. Segment 4, also known as the Lindale Relief Route, will stretch 6.7 miles (10.8 km) from Interstate 20 to US 69, bypassing the city of Lindale. The environmental coordination stage of planning, with various state and federal approvals is now complete and Construction on Segment 4 has started in 2016 and should be completed in 2018.[13] Segment 6 and Segment 6A are planned to complete the eastern portion of Loop 49, connecting SH 110 in Whitehouse to Interstate 20 near the Smith-Gregg County line, with a spur connecting back to US 271 at its intersection with SH 155 northeast of Tyler. These segments will contain approximately 26 miles (42 km) of roadway and are in the conceptual planning phase, with no scheduled construction dates.[14]

East Texas Hourglass[edit]

Loop 49 is the first part of the East Texas Hourglass, a major network of tollways and freeways designed to ease congestion and provide faster connections between the cities of Tyler, Longview, and Marshall in East Texas. All East Texas Hourglass roads will be controlled-access roads, adhering to Interstate highway standards. The East Texas Hourglass is the first major project of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA), which was established in 2004.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Smith County.

Location mi km Destinations Notes
SH 110
County Road 2170 at-grade intersection
FM 2964 eastbound (counterclockwise) exit and westbound (clockwise) entrance
FM 756
Tyler US 69 – Tyler, Jacksonville
FM 2493 / County Road 165 – Tyler, Bullard
County Road 178 eastbound (counterclockwise) exit and westbound (clockwise) entrance
Noonday SH 155 / County Road 192 – Tyler, Frankston, Noonday
Tyler SH 31 – Chandler, Tyler
SH 64 – Canton, Tyler, Airport
Lindale I-20 – Dallas, Shreveport I-20 exit 553
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goodin, Ginger; Collier, Tina (2007). Lessons Learned from Loop 49 : Implementation of a New Toll Road in Tyler, Texas. College Station, Texas: Texas Transportation Institute, The Texas A&M University System. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 17 October 2014. To complete the loop in a compressed timeframe, the Tyler District and its partnering agencies evaluated Loop 49 for tolling... It is expected that by tolling Loop 49, the opening of the fully completed loop project can be accelerated by as much as 20 years... The Tyler District of TxDOT had been working on public support, design, and property acquisition details for Loop 49 for more than two decades before tolling was introduced as a funding method to speed up completion of the full loop. 
  2. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon (August 19, 2006), "City Drives Toward Future with Loop 49 Celebration" (PDF), Tyler Morning Telegraph 
  3. ^ "Poor communication caused TxDOT's $1 billion error", Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2008 
  4. ^ "Loop 49 Segment 5 To Open Thursday", Tyler Morning Telegraph, June 26, 2012 
  5. ^ "TxDOT To Begin Segment 5 Of Loop 49 Early Next Year", Tyler Morning Telegraph, December 11, 2009 
  6. ^ "Loop 49 Segment Gets $38 Million in Funding" (PDF), Tyler Morning Telegraph, March 5, 2009 
  7. ^ "Contracts Awarded For Loop 49 Work, Other Highway Projects", Tyler Morning Telegraph, June 12, 2009 
  8. ^ "New section of Toll Road 49 opens Friday", Tyler Morning Telegraph, November 8, 2012 
  9. ^ "Plan Approved Connecting Loop 49 To Other Major Thoroughfares", Tyler Morning Telegraph, August 19, 2009 
  10. ^ "Loop 49's Path To I-20 Speeds Up", Tyler Morning Telegraph, October 29, 2010 
  11. ^ Ground breaking for new Loop 49 segment, KLTV 7 News, January 21, 2011 
  12. ^ TxDOT transfers ownership of Toll 49 to NET RMA, YourEastTexas.com, February 28, 2013 
  13. ^ "Lindale Relieft Route". NET RMA. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  14. ^ "East Texas Hourglass - Segment 6 and 6A". NET RMA. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 

External links[edit]