TxDOT puts Hwy 21 project information on website

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Ahead of an announced June 6 public hearing in North Zulch regarding the Highway 21 widening project, the Texas Department of Transportation has updated their website to make information on the road project more widely available.

In a press release Thursday, TxDOT said the draft Environmental Assessment, maps showing the project location and design, tentative construction schedules, and other information regarding the project are on file and available for inspection Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the TxDOT Bryan District Office, 2591 North Earl Rudder Freeway, Bryan, Texas, (979) 778-2165, and are available by visiting www.txdot.gov and search: SH 21 West Madison County Widening.

The information also will be available for inspection at the hearing. Verbal and written comments from the public regarding the project are requested and may be presented at the hearing or submitted in person or by mail to the TxDOT Bryan District Office. Comments must be received on or before June 21 to be part of the official hearing record.

TxDOT proposes widening State Highway (SH) 21 from 2.01 miles west of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 2865 to Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Madisonville, Madison County, Texas. This notice advises the public that a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for public review and that TxDOT will be conducting a public hearing on the proposed project.

The hearing will be held on June 6 at the North Zulch High School Cafeteria, 11390 Fifth Street. The hearing will begin with an open house showing project displays at 4:30 p.m., followed by a presentation and formal comment period beginning at 6 p.m. The purpose of the hearing is to present the planned improvements and to receive public comment on the proposed project.

According to the press release, the existing SH 21 consists of a two-lane undivided roadway with 12-foot wide travel lanes and 10-foot wide shoulders. The existing right-of-way (ROW) varies from 100 feet usual to 408 feet wide near the Navasota River. The press release continues:

The proposed 17.8-mile project would widen the current two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided roadway and construct a 3.2-mile long relief route on new location south of the community of North Zulch. Existing SH 21 through North Zulch would not be widened. The proposed roadway would consist of two 12-foot wide travel lanes in each direction with a typical 68-foot wide grass median. Proposed shoulders would consist of a 4-foot wide inside shoulder and a 10-foot wide outside shoulder. Two grade-separated overpasses are proposed at FM 39/Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway and at County Road 419 (Zulch Road). The proposed ROW width would typically increase by 144 feet for a typical total width of 244 feet. Proposed new shoulders would accommodate bicycle and pedestrian activity.

The proposed project would require approximately 384 acres of additional ROW and would potentially displace five occupied residences, five abandoned residential structures, and nine sheds/out structures. Information about the TxDOT Relocation Assistance Program, benefits and services for displacees, as well as information about the tentative schedules for ROW acquisition and construction can be obtained from the TxDOT district office at the address listed below. Relocation assistance is available for displaced persons and businesses.

Portions of the proposed project are situated within the floodplains of the Navasota River, Coon Branch, and Caney Creek. Waters of the U.S., including wetlands, would be impacted by the project. As a result, the facility would permit conveyance of a 100-year flood and would not increase the base flood elevation to a level that would violate applicable floodplain regulations and ordinances. The placement of temporary or permanent fill material into each jurisdictional water of the U.S. is anticipated to be authorized under a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Nationwide Permit 14, with preconstruction notification.

The hearing will be conducted in English. Persons interested in attending the hearing who have special communication or accommodation needs, are encouraged to call (979) 778-2165. Requests should be made at least two days prior to the hearing. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate these needs.

If you have any general questions or comments regarding the proposed project or the hearing, please contact Mr. Mark Poage, P.E. at (979) 778-2165, or you can submit your comments by email to Mark.Poage@txdot.gov.

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