The TEX-21 US 75/69 Corridor Task Force held its second meeting in Durant on Friday Feb.8. The meeting was a call to action meeting following the informational meeting held on Jan. 16.
The purpose of the task force is to improve transportation in Texas Oklahoma and Arkansas The US 69/75 Corridor Task Force focuses on Highway 69/75 through Texas and Oklahoma.
Several representatives from towns along the corridor have joined the coalition with one goal in mind: ease transportation.
With increasing traffic on the highway, the task force is seeking ways to improve transportation along Highway 75/69 from the Dallas area to approximately Tulsa.
The two main options discussed were elevating the highway to a high priority corridor status and elevating it to an interstate status.
Although there has been some concerns among Oklahoma’s representatives on the matter, representatives of the City of Durant are in favor of attempting to upgrade highway 69/75 to interstate status.
Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson said that in upgrading the highway to an interstate would not only increase safety along the corridor but improve the economy as well.
Tomlinson, among others at the conference, agreed that businesses look at traffic flow in areas they may do business in.
Although Durant has recruited several new businesses recently, Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer said that it has also lost out on distribution centers who favored places along I35.
Tomlinson said that the designation of Highway 69/75 as an interstate may not happen in his lifetime but upgrading to a High Priority Corridor is a step in the right direction which he may be able to witness.
The meeting allowed discussion among those attending following opening presentations. Johnny Moyer, representative for Markwayne Mullin suggested a meeting between TEX-21 and Mullin.
A tentative date was set to meet with Mullin in late March. Tomlinson said he has heard many legitimate concerns about the project, but hopes it will be much clearer after speaking with Representative Mullin.