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State Highway 24 expansion moves forward


COOPER - The Sulphur River Regional Mobility Authority (SURRMA) Board of Directors laid out the details of a planned expansion to Highway 24 during a recent meeting.

Last week, TxDot announced the allocation of $30.9 million to pay for construction of an additional two lanes along the 10.4 mile stretch of road, which runs from the Hunt/Delta County line to just south of Cooper. This is the final leg of the Highway 24 corridor expansion project, which has been in the works for approximately 30 years. The project could be completed by 2015.  

SURRMA Board Chairman Delbert Horton explained that TxDot will pay for the engineering and construction of the project, while local entities would pay for real estate acquisitions and relocation of utilities. Delta County is providing about $785,000 (Fed earmarks) plus $132,000 (Tobacco Settlements to Delta Co.). SURRMA will borrow $4.4 million from the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) with the backing of Lamar County, Paris EDC, and the City of Paris.  SURRMA will have to market this to those three entities to insure the success.

The Board meets the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Cooper City Hall.