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      TxDOT plans to improve Palo Duro Canyon roads

      The Texas Department of Transportation hosted an open house to discuss a planned project for Palo Duro Canyon.

      The project will replace the low-water crossings on Park Road 5.

      "When we do get rain, especially heavy rain, that area floods down there. What this project is proposing is to maybe put in some bridges or some box culverts over some of those low water crossings," said Paul Braun TxDOT Spokesperson.

      TxDOT said six water crossings will be renovated, but that the park will stay open throughout the construction that is will move forward this fall.

      "We have it approved for a September letting of next year," said Braun. "Projects usually start about 45 days after letting because once a project is let and is awarded, then it has to go to the transportation commission down in austin. They have to approve that and then the contract can be signed and work starts.

      The meeting was Thursday night at the Human Resource Conference Center at the TxDOT Amarillo District Office complex from 6-8 p.m.

      Palo Duro Canyon officials said the construction project was created with the safety of visitors in mind.

      "In wet events, half an inch or rain can get up and over the crossing, so when flood events occur, maybe 4/5 times on average in the canyon. It's pretty frequent," said Cory Evans Park Superintendent."Our main goal is visitor safety, and trying to get those folks out of there in a quick manner."