Testing Toll 49: how much time will it save you? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Testing Toll 49: how much time will it save you?

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The barricades are down ... and the most anticipated segment of toll road 49 is officially open.

Toll road 49 now stretches twenty-six miles, from highway 110 south in Whitehouse to Interstate 20.

The cost to travel that entire distance one-way is $2.69.

Tuesday, KLTV got a special preview of toll 49 and wasted no time putting it to the test.

Our experiment started at the city of Whitehouse post office, where we met our Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority escort, who was driving along for safety.

After a little prep to make our cars camera-ready, it was time to begin.

Driving two separate cars, and leaving at the same time, our crews planned to meet up at a restaurant off Interstate 20.

One driver took Highway 110 south through the city of Tyler to highway 69 and then to the interstate.

The other driver took toll 49 the whole way.

The main rule: drive the speed limit.

It took less than two minutes to get to the toll road entrance.  Seven and a half minutes in, the driver who was headed through the city had already made it to Troup highway and Loop 323 in Tyler.

Since it was 11 a.m. on a Thursday, that wasn't entirely surprising.  At peak traffic hours, it would be a whole different story.

Sixteen minutes in, one driver was passing through downtown Tyler, the other was getting to the newest part of the toll road... and dodging a few barrels that hadn't been taken down yet.

By the time the clock hit twenty-five minutes and thirty-seven seconds, the person taking the toll road made it to the interstate.

By then, the other driver was on 69, still in the Tyler city limits.

The toll road deliver got to the destination after 27 minutes on the road.

Just shy of 37 minutes on the road, the driver taking the long-way exited and pulled into the parking lot.

The difference in time was 10 minutes. But there were a lot of differences in ease, since the driver who went through the city was up against light traffic, a lot of stop lights and a short delay when they had to slow down and move over for a police officer running emergency.

The toll road driver had one light... the light to get on the toll road.  

This is not the end for toll 49.

NET RMA says they also plan for toll 49 to extend to the east and the north through Gregg, Upshur and Harrison counties.

The price to drive on toll 49 increases to 12 cents a mile on Friday by going up 2 cents.

To see a map of the tolls and their costs, just check out the Big Red Box.

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