By TYLER MASK
Ever since Wal-Mart Supercenter came to town, things have never been the same. It might be hard for some to believe, but a decade has passed since then, and traffic at the intersection of FM 1821 and Highway 180 has gone from favorable to frustrating. But the city has been working on a plan since the start.
“The beginning of this project goes back to 2004, roughly 10 years ago when Wal-Mart initially came to the city and planted the property where they now have built their superstore,” Mineral Wells City Manager Lance Howerton said at Tuesday night's Mineral Wells City Council meeting.
“What that basically has done is for the most part we'd had a large portion of our commercial activity on the south side of Highway 180 along FM 1821, and with the advent of the Wal-Mart Supercenter project, we basically saw our traffic pattern begin to change to where the traffic then flipped over to the north side of FM 1821.”
As a result of this, one of the first things the city did was contact the TxDOT Weatherford office to see if a right turn lane could be put in on southbound FM 1821 to turn west on Highway 180, Howertown said.
While TxDOT was contacted in a timely manner, they weren't able to aide Mineral Wells because of the economic recession and other issues. But that time is over.
At City Council, TxDOT made an appearance, proclaiming that things are different now, and they are ready to take the call. Although Resident Engineer with TxDot Weatherford John Cordary could not make the meeting, Dwayne Turin, an assistant engineer, took the podium to share just what TxDOT was planning to do.
A few proposed adjustments Turin addressed include:
• Adding a right turn lane on Ram Blvd.