Lee County is Sitting on Pins and Needles
Lee County is sitting on pins and needles as the deadline approaches to hear whether or not it will be awarded a grant that will be used to improve FM 696 northwest of Lexington. The Federal Government has promised to let applicants know on or before Wednesday, February 17, 2010 whether or not their application was approved. As of press time, Lee County Judge Paul Fischer was still waiting to get the word.
Last September, Lee County applied for a TIGER Grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) through the US Department of Transportation in order to continue helping to make the dangerous, and sometimes deadly portion of FM 696 West more safe for commuters and travelers. The application was for exactly $17,930,821.71 that, if awarded to the County, would be used to widen 8.086 miles of roadway on FM 696. Construction, which would be overseen by the Texas Department of Transportation, would widen the road from two 10-foot lanes of traffic to two 12- foot lanes of traffic and include three-foot shoulders on both sides.
The TIGER grants are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in which a total of $1.5 billion is being made available for surface transportation capital improvements. More can be learned about this and other federal stimulus projects by going to recovery.gov.