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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Amarillo, Texas, overpass moving forward

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A proposed $9.1-million project to alleviate railroad-caused traffic congestion on North Grand Street in Amarillo, Texas, will move closer to starting Jan. 14 with a federally required public gathering, according to the Amarillo Globe-News Online. The proposal calls for construction of a bridge to carry Grand Street vehicle traffic over BNSF tracks adjacent to Southeast Third Avenue.

The session has a dual purpose, according to Howard Holland, district engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation's Amarillo District.

Staff from the city of Amarillo, the Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Texas Department of Transportation will begin with a public meeting to answer residents' questions about the project. Once that's done, they will conduct a public hearing to record any comments about the bridge plan in documentation to be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. The public meeting and the public hearing are federally mandated processes, Holland said.

The project will be accomplished with a combination of financing resources, including $7.3 million in federal stimulus money. To secure stimulus money, TxDOT must be ready to seek bids from contractors for the project by March 10. The work should start about 60 days after the contract is awarded, Holland said.

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