Loop 335 to undergo modifications

The loop circling Amarillo has become so heavy with traffic that officials are discussing plans to improve safety and mobility in 2013.

It was thought Loop 335, which was completed in 1999, would easily offer accessibility to different areas of Amarillo and other regions, but with the development of businesses came the development of traffic.

The City of Amarillo, TxDOT and the Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization met Thursday to discuss potential improvement plans, one of which is to build overpasses at Bell, Western and Georgia to alleviate traffic. Frontage roads were also ideas put on the table.

"The whole idea for this is to help encourage truck traffic especially, commercial traffic, to use the loop instead and stay out of the downtown area," TxDOT Spokesperson Paul Braun said. "So, it's for safety and mobility."

The $26 million project will be funded by Proposition 12, which released the funds earlier this month. According to Braun, the project would take between a year and a year-and-a-half to be completed.

"We do have a round of public meetings coming up on that project to discuss some of the things we have planned," Braun stated. "February 22nd we're going to meet with landowners in that area. February 23rd, we're actually going to have a public meeting where the public can come and talk to us about that particular section of the loop."

Braun encourages anyone with complaints, concerns and ideas about Loop 335 to attend the meeting.