NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Ben Sultenfuss was one of many Nacogdoches residents that attended the Texas Department of Transportation open house Tuesday night. Sultenfuss and others crammed the C. L Simon Recreation Center, eagerly trying to get a better picture of what the FM 2609 Austin Street widening project. Sultenfuss was in favor of the proposed project. He said it might be a new concept to some, but it's something he has been talking about for years.
"I came here in 1986 and I remember people talking about this and saying sooner or later this street is going to have to be widen,” Sultenfuss said.
The Nacogdoches resident is one of 7,000 people who utilize Austin Street on a daily basis. He said each time he drives down the street he cringes with frustration.
"As you go from a four lane to a two lane street going up through North Street things seem to get bottled up," Sultenfuss said.
Kevin Buranakitipinyo, area engineer with TxDot said this area is highly congested because of the hospital, and schools that are right off of the street.
"The proposal is four eleven foot lanes with three additional feet on each side to accommodate bicycles plus a six foot size walks to accommodate pedestrians,” Sultenfuss said.
In addition to this proposal residents were also shown two alternatives. One alternative shifts the widening to the North and the other shifts the widening to the East.
Buranakitipinyo said some people are not happy about the project because it will cut into their yards, however, it's a mobility and safety issue.
TxDot plans to use the feedback they get from Tuesday open house to create a summary report to determine what changes need to be done.