The Northeast Texas Rural Transportation Summit for Texas Department of Transportation staff from the Paris and Atlanta districts took place last week at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. During the summit, officials presented and discussed, among other things, planning for the transportation infrastructure in Northeast Texas.

Those plans include a project at the Interstate 30 and Broadway Street intersection.

At Broadway Street, TxDOT officials at the meeting stated that “rough bridge approaches” was a major complaint. An approach is the slab of pavement that transitions from roadway to the bridge. It can have strips of metal between sections of the slab or pavement. In some cases, the metal strip can protrude above the level of the slab, which creates a hazard for tires.

However, the News-Telegram in previous articles regarding the Broadway Street bridge has heard nothing regarding the approach on either side. Comments from residents have, on the other hand, expressed concern about turn lanes and increased traffic over the past few years that has come about with the commercial expansion on the south side of the interstate.

In an article published Oct. 12, 2017, the News-Telegram reported that Tim McAlavy, a public information officer with TxDOT, stated both the Bill Bradford Road and Hillcrest Drive overpass projects, completed in 2004 and 2010 respectively, were undertaken in an effort to relieve congestion at the Broadway Street bridge.

McAlavy added that the recent traffic reconfiguration at the Hillcrest Road intersection also had the support of Sulphur Springs officials, specifically over public complaints about congestion at that intersection.

We speculate that those involved in that initial decision assumed that drivers would bypass Broadway Street in favor of one of the other two overpasses; however, that has not happened by any significant or noticeable margin.

The problem of the traffic volume at this particular intersection, as it is the primary north-south thoroughfare connecting the town, doesn’t look to decrease any time soon.

It has been suggested previously that to alleviate the congestion, the same continuous turn-around traffic pattern found at Bill Bradford Road should have been at first implemented at Broadway Street.

A positive we can add to this is that the needs at the Broadway Street bridge are being identified, if not funded, which is a step in the right direction.

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