City Official Addresses Questions about Alton Road Project
ALTON – Wider roads are causing concerns for people along a busy Alton road. People said they’re worried the expansion is going to hurt their businesses.
When Martha Morales decided to move her salon to Alton, she believed the move was going to last. But a project to widen Mile 5 to five lanes may mean she has to move once again.
“If they do go ahead with the project, then I don’t think it will be beneficial for me. I will have to look for another place, which isn’t good for establishing a small business,” she said.
Morales said an inspector for the city came to her salon and told her the expansion project may mean the road would end up right outside her front door.
“There will be impact on some property owners the way the schematic is presented right now. And again Tx-DOT is going through that approval process, but it’s minimal. The engineers have done the best they can to minimize the impact on property owners, of course there will be impact on some,” Alton Assistant City Manager Jeff Underwood said.
He said the project has been in the works for years. He said they have worked diligently to cause very little effect on homeowners and business owners, like Morales.
Underwood said Tx-DOT has issued those who may be impacted letters explaining the process of the project.
“Well we’ve been working on the widening of Mile 5 or trying to get the funding together for Mile 5 widening for a long time,” he said.
The project will widen the stretch of road between La Homa Road and Ware Road. Underwood said construction for the phase one, west of Alton Boulevard, is expected to begin in 2018. And phase two, east of Alton Boulevard, is in the preliminary steps and is expected for 2022.
Underwood said the city has been passionate about the project for years, addressing safety concerns regarding the influx of traffic and lack of sidewalks.
“Your A.M. and P.M. peaks are such that traffic really cues up at the lights, it becomes a safety issue and again there’s not a whole lot of place for pedestrians to get around,” he said.
Morales agrees that though the project may jeopardize her business, it will be a positive move for the overall community.
“It will be a good project because it will add more lanes to allow the traffic to move smoother,” she said.
Morales said she will continue to keep her salon open and wait to see if and how far the road will take from in front of her shop.