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Road resolution: City seeks quicker improvements to FM 730

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Problem Area

PROBLEM AREA – Farm Road 730 between Boyd and Decatur has been the site of numerous serious or even fatal wrecks over the past few years. The latest serious wreck took place late Friday when two people were injured in a head-on collision on FM 730 at County Road 4380. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

You can add the city of Decatur’s name to the growing chorus of local entities who are asking the state to address safety issues on Farm Road 730 sooner rather than later.

At Monday’s meeting, the council considered approval of a resolution calling on the Texas Department of Transportation to immediately address safety issues on Farm Road 730 from Texas 114 to County Road 4181 rather than wait several years when work is slated to begin on the road.

The city of Boyd passed a resolution in December. Decatur ISD trustees will consider a resolution Monday after holding a discussion on it this week. Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West plans to present a resolution to the school board in February.

On its recently approved transportation plan, Wise County included FM 730 safety improvements on its list of projects.

Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff said when he heard the city of Boyd passed a resolution calling for immediate safety improvements, he felt Decatur needed to pass a similar resolution.

“When I read the report in the newspaper of the action the Boyd City Council took, I was impressed with that, and my first thought was I am in full agreement with that and I would like to propose that to the Decatur City Council for their consideration as well, since we are talking about the two cities on either end of this particular stretch of highway,” Woodruff said. “I made this same request to TxDOT officials in the past personally to our district engineer in Fort Worth and made him aware of at least where I stood on that, and I think other council members and city officials have also. But I thought it would be good for us to consider taking the same action and basically echoing what the city of Boyd has done.”

Decatur’s resolution, Woodruff said, was basically identical to the one the Boyd City Council passed last month.

The resolutions cite crash statistics that show 71 crashes resulting in six fatalities have taken place on the 8.2-mile stretch of road from Jan. 1, 2012, to Dec. 13, 2018. They also cite an online petition that has garnered more than 1,500 signatures urging safety improvements on the stretch of roadway.

The most recent deadly crash on this stretch of road happened on Dec. 11 when two people – Seth Evans and Makayla Stoff – were killed at the intersection with County Road 4374. Stoff was a Boyd High School student.

TxDOT currently has two projects planned for the stretch of road.

The first phase is slated to widen and reconstruct approximately three miles of FM 730 from Texas 114 in Boyd to County Road 4480. As part of the project, shoulders will be added, and culverts and drainage structures will be extended. Turn lanes will also be evaluated. The project is currently scheduled to begin in 2022.

The second project is to improve FM 730 north of County Road 4480 to U.S. 81/287 in Decatur. This project would add shoulders and evaluate the need for turn lanes. It is currently scheduled to begin in five to 10 years.

The Decatur City Council Monday signaled their agreement, but before they voted, council member Mike McQuiston asked if they should consider amending the resolution to have TxDOT move up plans for the roadway all the way to U.S. 81/287 rather than County Road 4181 as stated in the resolution.

City attorney Mason Woodruff said that request would best be made with a separate resolution.

“My suggestion is if you want to extend that from CR 4181 north to 287, it would be to prepare at the next meeting perhaps a resolution which does that and see if we can get Boyd to support us with that,” he said.

The vote on the original motion was unanimous.

Boyd Mayor Rodney Holmes and City Administrator Greg Arrington announced plans to meet with TxDOT officials Wednesday this past week.

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