By JESSIE HORTON
If you drive in Erath County, especially the southwestern part of it, you know about the latest undertaking of the Texas Department of Transportation — the new loop around Dublin. No matter if you’re for or against the project, everyone seems to have strong opinions on the subject.
“I can’t understand why they’d put a loop around Dublin of all places,” said Stella Alaniz of Dublin. “I mean, doesn’t Stephenville need another loop before we do? You can’t get anywhere on that loop. The one around Dublin is a ridiculous and dangerous waste of taxpayer money.”
However, many are excited by the prospect for growth for the city and believe an increase in traffic in the area will bring more tourism to the area.
“I can see how it would be lots better for Dublin to have the loop, and have no clue why people are so upset,” James Kenny of Erath County said. “It keeps those big trucks out of downtown where everyone parks on the streets and kids are running around. And on top of that, it gives Dublin a reason to grow a little, and that can’t hurt anything.”
No matter what your opinion of the loop, everyone can agree the construction isn’t exactly safe (road construction never is). TXDOT Public Information Officer Natalie Galindo said she is happy to report the second phase of the loop project is ahead of schedule.
“The second half of the Dublin Loop is ahead of schedule and going well,” she reported. “Two bridges, one over State Highway 6 and the second over the Fort Worth & Western railroad tracks are being built currently. Also, the roadway work is progressing nicely, and the second half of the project is scheduled to be complete and opened in April of 2015.”
Galindo said the first half of the loop is nearing completion currently and users who are already accessing the new loop roadway can see the crews finishing up. Many residents have reported accidents along this section of roadway and wonder if any more safety measures would be added before TXDOT is finished.
“The first half of the loop is running smoothly with just a few items left to complete,” she said. “We are currently adding a flashing yellow light signal and illumination to the intersection of the Dublin Loop and FM 219 for added safety. This work should be complete by February 2015 and will complete the first half of the project.”