Breen expresses concerns of SH 72 expansion project

Dear Editor,

TxDOT is proposing to expand SH 72 west of Yorktown to four lanes, turning this sleepy country road into almost a super highway.

Once it is completed, the expanded SH 72 would be a vastly bigger highway than US 183 (which is two lanes, and handles much more traffice very well) and US 59 west of Goliad (which is a “super two lane”) highway, with occasional extra passing lanes) which probably handles far more traffice than US 183 and SH 72 combined, and does so efficiently.

The proposed expansion would require the state to acquire more more land for right of way, with some people, particularly in Nordheim, finding their front door right on the highway.

I asked the TxDOT official at their presentation in Yorktown: “Why the need for this massive expansion?”

Here is what I heard: 1. During the Eagle Ford boom, the traffic went sky high, and even though it has dropped off tremendously, they want to be ready just in case there is another oil boom, and to be ready for the eventual increase in local traffic; 2. They have the money now for this project; 3. The oil field service companies that have the big rigs want a bigger road for safety reasons.

Here are three ideas which are much cheaper and will result in greater safety than the four lane boondoggle proposed by TxDOT.

1. Build a commercial vehicle weigh station for DPS to man to insure that the big trucks are not over weight and the drivers’ log books confirm they are not being pressed to drive over the legally mandated maximum for each day. Additionally, build a few other hardtops along this stretch of highway where DPS can conduct spot checks of commercial vehicles. Massive fines for trucking companies that violate these rules should pay for this project in short order. This will address the safety issue the trucking companies are so concerned about far better than a super highway running from Yorktown to Runge ever would.

2. Build turning lanes at those spots that are dangerous intersections.

3. Build a couple of passing lanes so that traffic can safely pass slow pokes that clog up the road.

If you want to stop this huge waste of taxpayers’ dollars, and the pointless destruction of private property necessary for the expansion, you need to send a comment by May 9 to: TxDOT, Yoakum District, 403 Huck St., Yoakum, Tex. 77995. You also need to write or call your state representative, Geanie Morrison, 1908 N. Laurent, Ste. 500, Victoria, Tex. 77901, tel. (361) 572-0196, and your state senator, Lois Kolkhorst at 2000 S. Market St., No. 101, Brenham, Tex. 77833; tel. (979) 251-7888. Get your friends and neighbors to do likewise. The only way to stop this boondoggle is to make a big noise.

Terry Breen

Goliad

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