NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches residents who live in the Pecan Orchard area are gearing up to see what the future of their neighborhood could look like as plans for the FM 26 09/Austin Street widening project moves forward.
People who have property that will be affected told the East Texas News they have mixed opinions about the project.
There is quite a bit of traffic activity that moves up and down Austin street in Nacogdoches.
City officials and the Texas Department of Transportation are looking to improve the traffic flow in the area by widening about two city blocks from North Street to Raguet.
"Those transportation issues in that area are going to get worse," said Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches City Manager. "They're not going to get better with the passage of time."
Jeffers said that the project has been around for some time and there has been some controversy surrounding it.
"The residents along there which are adversely impacted because they're having to give up some right-of-way and lose some trees. They have generally been opposed to it," Jeffers said.
A lot of residents who live off of East Austin told the East Texas News they don't feel like widening the street would be good for the neighborhood, and they're also concerned about the Austin/Raguet intersection, which is now currently a four-way stop. However, they said if a light is put in, they feel there will be more accidents here and it will make the street more dangerous.
East Texas News also spoke with Chrystal Reneaux, who lives a few houses from the Raguet/Austin intersection. She has mixed feelings about the project. Reneaux said that she's not a fan of having a large portion of her front yard taken over, but she feels that if a traffic light is installed, it will help improve access to her home. She said that sometimes it will take her between 10 and 15 minutes to get out of her driveway because traffic is backed up down Austin Street.
According to a press release, TxDOT does have the funding to move forward with the Austin Street project and is scheduled to take bids for construction in 2017.
Tuesday night, Nacogdoches residents will have the opportunity to see the latest project maps and proposed alignment proposal at the FM 2609 open house.The public is invited to attend from 4 to 7 PM Tuesday night. It's at the C.L. Simon Recreation Center.
TxDOT officials will be there to get input and answer questions from the community.