DIMMITT, Texas (KVII) — The city of Dimmitt is preparing for a three-year project. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is starting a $16.2 million project that will rehab US 385 and State HWY 86 from one end of Dimmitt Proper to the other.
“They’re going to completely renovate both highways it’s about a 38 month project, and it will be starting here in August,” said Roger Malone, mayor of Dimmitt.
TxDOT is rebuilding a stretch of the highways in phases and will also repair the intersection in town where the two highways meet. More than 3,000 vehicles a day pass through Dimmitt during the week. Many are 18-wheeler's or heavy semis. Concrete is going in at the intersection in the heart of town for one block in each direction according to Malone. Wear and tear on the highways has reached a point where it has to be rehabbed.
“That intersection is a very key part of the traffic pattern for Dimmitt,” said Malone. “Additionally they’re adding a storm drain on 385 north of Hessel Street which will help drain the rain when we do get rain in this part of the country.”
The city is having to move sewer and water lines underground in order to accommodate the project.
“It will be much safer and we won’t have any kind of water leaks in the streets to hold back traffic,” said Tony Rios, director of Public Works for city of Dimmitt.
“There also going to have a four-foot sidewalk on one side of the highway going in through Dimmitt,” said Malone. “The sidewalk will be both ways so that will be a convenience for a lot of people.”
Crews will start setting up traffic barriers this week along with signs pointing to alternative routes around construction. Drivers are being asked to pay attention as workers and heavy equipment will be only a few feet from passing vehicles. Mayor Malone tells ABC 7 News the last time the stretch of highways in Dimmitt underwent this kind of renovation work was in 1980. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.