Texas State Highway Loop 49

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State Highway Loop 49 marker

State Highway Loop 49
Route information
Maintained by NET RMA
Length32 mi[2] (51 km)
Existed1986[1]–present
Major junctions
CW end US 69 near Lindale
 
CCW end SH 110 near Whitehouse
Location
CountiesSmith County
Highway system
Loop 48Loop 50

Loop 49 (also called Toll 49) is a tollway that, along with I-20, will encircle the city of Tyler, Texas upon its completion. Routing of the loop north of I-20 bypasses Lindale to the west and passes by the west and south sides of Tyler south of I-20; the highway interconnects suburban areas and areas of potential development around Tyler with I-20 and provides local areas easier access to the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

Currently, the route exists as a 32-mile (51 km) undivided two-lane highway stretching from US 69 near Lindale to SH 110 near Whitehouse. According to TxDOT, costs have exceeded $176 million, and the projected total cost for the completion of the route as a divided four-lane highway is still unknown; this proposed extension of Loop 49, the East Texas Hourglass (ETHG), planned as a divided four-lane highway between SH 110 and US 59 near Marshall, includes two additional spur highways and will run through Smith, Gregg, and Harrison Counties.[3] It is designed to ease congestion and provide faster connections between the cities of Tyler, Longview, and Marshall; the highway will adhere to Interstate highway standards. Loop 49 and the East Texas Hourglass are the first major projects of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA).

Route description[edit]

Loop 49 begins at an intersection with US 69 north of Lindale. Proceeding south, the highway bypasses Lindale to the west, having interchanges with FM 16 and I-20. Continuing south through the western side of Tyler, Loop 49 has interchanges with SH 64 and SH 31 near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. Traveling south, Loop 49 interchanges with SH 155 at Noonday. Turning east, Loop 49 meets US 69 on the south side of Tyler, and proceeds to its current terminus with SH 110 near Whitehouse.

History[edit]

Texas Spur 49.svg

The route number was originally used for Spur 49 from SH 22 in Corsicana to the Corsicana State Orphans' home but was removed from the state highway system on August 4, 1966.

Signage originally planned for use along Loop 49 if the road had not been set up for tolling.

Plans to construct an outer loop around the city of Tyler, Texas began in the mid-1980s; the original plans called for a freeway to be built but Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) determined that there was a funding shortfall and the road would not likely be built until 2033 using traditional funding.[4] In response, the NET RMA chose to build the highway as a tollway with an electronic toll system.

In August 2003, construction began on the first 5-mile (8.0 km) segment (called Segment 1) extending east from SH 155 (Frankston Hwy) in Noonday to US 69 (Broadway Ave) in south Tyler. The road is a two-lane undivided highway, which will ultimately be expanded to a four-lane divided highway; the grand opening of Loop 49 took place on August 17, 2006.[5] Tolling began on November 27, 2006. Construction then continued east, with Segment 2, which extends 2.0 miles (3.2 km) from US 69 to FM 756 (Paluxy Dr), opening to traffic January 7, 2008. Due to a 2008 budget crisis at TxDOT,[6] construction on additional sections of the tollway was delayed more than two years. In 2010, construction began on Segment 5, which extends 2.6 miles (4.2 km) from FM 756 to SH 110 in Whitehouse. This section of the tollway, which was funded by Proposition 14 highway bonds, approved by Texas voters in 2003, opened to traffic June 28, 2012[7] after nearly 29 months of construction,[8] bringing the total length of the loop to 9.6 miles (15.4 km).

Construction on the western side of Loop 49 began with Segment 3A, which extends 5.9 miles (9.5 km) from SH 155 (Frankston Hwy) to SH 31 (Chandler Hwy). This segment was constructed using federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, after the Texas Transportation Commission approved its status as a stimulus project on March 5, 2009.[9] TxDOT awarded a $37.9 million construction contract three months later on June 10, and construction began in August.[10] Segment 3A opened to traffic November 9, 2012,[11] after approximately 39 months of construction. In an effort to speed completion of the west side of Loop 49 and connect it to Interstate 20, the NET RMA approved a plan in August 2009 to develop Segment 3B, the longest section of the toll road at 9.7 miles (15.6 km), using a nontraditional "design/build" process.[12] On October 28, 2010, the Texas Transportation Commission approved up to $90 million for the construction of Segment 3B through State Infrastructure Bank loans and a toll equity loan.[13] Construction on Segment 3B began on January 21, 2011,[14] and the segment opened to traffic on March 28, 2013, completing the 26-mile (42 km) loop from I-20 to SH 110.

On February 28, 2013, the Texas Transportation Commission voted to transfer ownership and maintenance of Loop 49 from TxDOT to the NET RMA.[15]

Segment 4, also known as the Lindale Relief Route, stretches for 6.7 miles (10.8 km) from US 69 south to I-20, bypassing the city of Lindale to the west. The environmental coordination stage of planning, with various state and federal approvals was completed, with construction beginning in 2016, and the segment opening to traffic on November 7, 2018.[16][17]

Future[edit]

The future segments of the East Texas Hourglass are currently in the preliminary planning stages, with no completion timeline currently scheduled. Segment 6 is planned to complete the eastern portion of Loop 49, connecting SH 110 near Whitehouse to I-20 near the Smith-Gregg County line. Segment 6A is planned as a spur running from a junction between Loop 49 and FM 850 near New Chapel Hill to the current junction between US 271 and SH 155 northeast of Tyler.[18] Segment 7 is planned to run northeast from I-20 to US 259 north of Longview. Segment 8 is planned to run from US 259 to US 59 north of Marshall. Segment 8A is planned as another spur running from a point east of a junction between Loop 49 and FM 2879 northeast of Longview to I-20 southeast of Longview.[19]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Smith County.

Locationmi[20]kmDestinationsNotes
0.00.0 US 69 – Mineola, LindaleCurrent clockwise terminus; at-grade intersection; opened November 2018[21]
3.55.6 FM 16 – Van, LindaleClockwise exit and counterclockwise entrance; interchange opened November 2018[21]
Lindale6.09.7 I-20 – Dallas, ShreveportI-20 Exit 553, former clockwise terminus
8.113.0 SH 110 – Van, TylerClockwise exit only
13.621.9 SH 64 – Canton, Tyler, Airport
Tyler16.226.1 SH 31 – Chandler, Tyler
Noonday22.035.4 SH 155 / County Road 192 – Tyler, Frankston, Noonday
23.938.5County Road 178Eastbound (counterclockwise) exit and westbound (clockwise) entrance
24.739.8 FM 2493 / County Road 165 – Tyler, Bullard
Tyler27.143.6 US 69 – Tyler, Jacksonville
29.146.8 FM 756
30.849.6 FM 2964Eastbound (counterclockwise) exit and westbound (clockwise) entrance
32.051.5County Road 2170At-grade intersection
32.151.7 SH 110Current counterclockwise terminus; at-grade intersection
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway Loop No. 49". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation.
  2. ^ Google (December 17, 2018). "Overview Map of Loop 49" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "East Texas Hourglass". NET RMA. NET RMA. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Goodin, Ginger; Collier, Tina (2007). Lessons Learned from Loop 49 : Implementation of a New Toll Road in Tyler, Texas. College Station, Texas: Texas Transportation Institute, The Texas A&M University System. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 17 October 2014. To complete the loop in a compressed timeframe, the Tyler District and its partnering agencies evaluated Loop 49 for tolling... It is expected that by tolling Loop 49, the opening of the fully completed loop project can be accelerated by as much as 20 years... The Tyler District of TxDOT had been working on public support, design, and property acquisition details for Loop 49 for more than two decades before tolling was introduced as a funding method to speed up completion of the full loop.
  5. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon (August 19, 2006), "City Drives Toward Future with Loop 49 Celebration" (PDF), Tyler Morning Telegraph, archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2009
  6. ^ "Poor communication caused TxDOT's $1 billion error", Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2008
  7. ^ "Loop 49 Segment 5 To Open Thursday", Tyler Morning Telegraph, June 26, 2012
  8. ^ "TxDOT To Begin Segment 5 Of Loop 49 Early Next Year", Tyler Morning Telegraph, December 11, 2009
  9. ^ "Loop 49 Segment Gets $38 Million in Funding" (PDF), Tyler Morning Telegraph, March 5, 2009, archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2009
  10. ^ "Contracts Awarded For Loop 49 Work, Other Highway Projects", Tyler Morning Telegraph, June 12, 2009
  11. ^ "New section of Toll Road 49 opens Friday", Tyler Morning Telegraph, November 8, 2012
  12. ^ "Plan Approved Connecting Loop 49 To Other Major Thoroughfares", Tyler Morning Telegraph, August 19, 2009
  13. ^ "Loop 49's Path To I-20 Speeds Up", Tyler Morning Telegraph, October 29, 2010
  14. ^ Ground breaking for new Loop 49 segment, KLTV 7 News, January 21, 2011
  15. ^ TxDOT transfers ownership of Toll 49 to NET RMA, YourEastTexas.com, February 28, 2013
  16. ^ "Lindale Relief Route". NET RMA. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  17. ^ Campbell, LouAnna (November 7, 2018). "Lindale relief route open, Toll 49 extended from I-20 to US Highway 69, north of Lindale". Tyler Morning Telegraph. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  18. ^ "East Texas Hourglass - Segment 6 and 6A". NET RMA. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  19. ^ "Texas Toll Loop 49". TylerTexasOnline.com. TylerTexasOnline.com. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  20. ^ Google (December 17, 2018). "Overview Map of Loop 49" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Toll 49 and ETHG". NET RMA. Retrieved April 24, 2018.