Changes to improve traffic flow could be coming to Spur 503 in Denison.


The Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Advisory Committee recommended an amendment to the organization’s planning documents that, if approved, would add the project to the organization’s four-year plan and open it for funding ahead of the expected 2019 start date.


SDMPO Executive Director Clay Barnett said the project would include the reversal of the ramps and the construction of a new off ramp near the roadway’s intersection with U.S. Highway 75.


“Right now, there is dirt turning at all four corners at U.S. Hwy. 75 and FM 691,” Barnett said. “Without these ramp reversals, it is going to cause traffic on (Hwy.) 75, (Spur) 503 and FM 691 to get worse.”


The project is expected to cost about $7 million, with $1.28 million in SDMPO urban mobility funds, and $5.71 million in local contributions. Barnett said some of the details, including the placement of the ramps, is still in flux as the project is still in the planning phase.


The inclusion of the project in the plans comes following another update to the four-year plan in May. Then-Denison Mayor Jared Johnson urged members of the policy board to ensure the project was included in the next update so it is not delayed.


If approved by the policy board, the project would be on track to be included in the November update to the state’s transportation plan.


Among the developments taking place along the spur is the city’s new $17 million Texoma Health Foundation Park, which city officials hope will have a regional scope and draw. The park is one part of growth taking place along FM 691 in the multi-use Gateway Village development.


“The plan for increasing transportation access and safety in and around the Spur 503 and FM 691 interchanges is vital to the growth and development of Denison,” City Manager Jud Rex, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, said. “The proposed ramp arrangement will improve access to the retail, office and residential areas developing along FM 691. The city appreciates the support of Grayson County, the Sherman-Denison MPO and TxDOT on this and other projects along the 691 corridor.”


The policy board is expected to discuss the amendments to the plans during a meeting later this month.