Weatherford Democrat

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April 7, 2013

Looking further down the road

One of the biggest challenges Weatherford and Parker County residents deal with each day is transportation and traffic, issues local officials say they are addressing

By BRIAN SMITH

Weatherford officials plan to submit an updated transportation plan to city council at its Tuesday meeting.

Director of Capital Transportation Projects Terry Hughes said the last revision to the plan was in 2002. This plan, which takes the city out approximately 20 years, has had input from Parker County, Texas Department of Transportation and surrounding cities to take a fresh look at everything.

“We looked at road classifications and conditions of our roads and also our land use and potential growth scenarios through the year 2035,” Hughes said. “We took models from the North Texas Council of Governments and then ran those through some other computer models to come up with our plan.”

Once the council looks at and approves the plan, a citizen committee is expected to be formed to get more input on the plan and most notably, how to potentially pay for all of it.

“We’re not sure of the funding, but there are some options out there,” Hughes said. “If we don’t use a bond, there are other venues we can look at such as tax zones and grants.”

Hughes said the plan, which is part of the overall Capital Improvement Plan, is aggressive but he feels confident after meeting with downtown and area merchants recently that it not only can happen, it simply needs to.

“We’ll have our CIP committee prioritize projects,” Hughes said. “We don’t want the community to think we’re finished with everything, because as soon as you think you’re finished, you are. It’s kind of the thinking that got us into the situation we are in right now.”

Roads

Work on the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway will help to alleviate what is expected to be a massive influx of cars and traffic on city streets in the next 20 years.

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