TxDOT unveils plans to widen FM 2818 in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas Department of Transportation held an open house Tuesday to get feedback from residents who live around FM 2818 about a new project that would alleviate traffic congestion during rush hour.

The department's proposed plan would widen the road from four lanes to six between FM 60 and Wellborn Road. It will also introduce a new super street design, the third of its kind in Texas.

"I wish I didn't have to drive it," said Tim Thornton, College Station resident. "I carpool with my wife to work in the morning."

Like many other drivers, Thornton is frustrated with the congestion along FM 2818 during morning and evening rush hour.

"Sitting in traffic for an hour, waiting to move is not enhancing our quality of life," said Bob Brick, College Station councilman. He was describing the intersection of Holleman Drive and FM 2818.

Roughly 37,000 cars travel the farm to market road daily. TxDOT officials say it's expected to go up to 55,000 in 20 years.

"I feel really sorry for the students who live in some of those areas," said Lisa Halperin, College Station resident. "It can take them several light changes to get through the interchanges."

Tuesday, TxDOT unveiled their new design proposal to enhance capacity. A super street design, instead of four lanes there will be six and drivers cannot travel straight across the intersection.

"Vehicles can only go to the right," said Neal Riddle, with TxDOT. "Once they turn right, they will have a signalized left turn at a U-turn."

TxDOT says the new design will improve safety by lessening the amount of time vehicles could potentially collide.

"We can get better capacity and there is less congestion with this type of design," said Riddle.

The project is already funded and will cost $34.5 million to complete.

"I was pleasantly surprised," said Thornton. "I came in here disappointed just because of how bad it is, and I didn't see how anything can be done in a cost-effective way."

The department is looking for feedback on its proposal from now until November 27th. Residents can fill out the online survey by logging on to www.txdot.gov and entering "FM 2818" in the search area.

Early next year, the department will host a public hearing that will include citizen feedback. Once that is complete, the bidding process will begin.