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Dalhart residents are concerned that potential truck bypass could destroy the town

Dalhart residents are concerned that potential truck bypass could destroy the town (ABC 7 Amarillo- Kendra Hall)

There is a possibility that a truck relief route will be built to allow semi trucks to bypass the town of Dalhart.

Many residents in Dalhart are worried this relief route will destroy their city. But the city says it is supposed to enhance it.

"Once you put a four-lane highway bypass around your town, you lose all the traveling public," said Linda Moore, Small Business Owner in Dalhart.

There are no set plans, but TxDOT and Dalhart city officials have been conducted a feasibility study. They have five separate routes in mind, but have not decided on anything yet.

"The one to the south snakes right through the center of a little ranch that my sister and I inherited when our dad passed away two years ago," said Janelle Michael.

This route would split Janelle's livelihood in half. And she worries that having a way around the town will ruin business.

"I wish we could keep them coming through," said Michael. "I think traffic is maybe a blessing instead of a curse."

ABC 7 spoke with Dalhart City Manager, James Stroud, who says having the semi trucks flow through town is bad for the roads and unsafe. He says the route they would most likely go with will be out of the way, so should only be used for trucks.

Stroud believes most traveling public will still use Highway 87 and 54 through town. One resident used to live in Tucumcari when they put a truck bypass around that town.

"Back in the early 90s a 54 bypass was put in there and since then, I have witnessed approximately 150 business that have closed down and those were established businesses," said Lane Bradley, Dalhart resident.

He worries that sales tax and property value will go down if this is added.

"The economy goes down, businesses start closing up, and population starts moving away," said Bradley. "Tucumcari went from a population of about 12-15 thousand people down to less than 5,000."

But Stroud says they are just looking into it and if it does happen, it will likely be around 10 years because there is no money for it. It will cost $151 million for TxDOT to build.

There is a public meeting Monday at the Rita Blanca Coliseum located at 2222 West FM 281 in Dalhart. It is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and they are looking to get input from residents.


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