Improvements in Texas County are planned by MoDOT under a five-year plan.

Hot asphalt hit the gravel surface of a major street extension Tuesday in Houston. Workmen with Rolla Asphalt began laying asphalt at the extension of Thomasville Road at East Highway 17.

It’s the biggest street extension project in Houston since the city extended Spruce Street to make it an east-west throughfare in 1979.

The project involved cutting through the landscape from near East Highway 17 south to Holder Drive and even further south to where Orscheln Farm and Home is situated. From there, a new street will run east and west, connecting with South Sam Houston Blvd.

In all, the city is spending $338,800 to open a section of the community that it hopes will bring new development. Gaines Construction Co. of Rolla is the contractor for the $224,200 excavation contract. Another almost $90,000 will pay for the asphalt work. Concrete culverts and items totaled $24,600.

Originally budgeted last year, the project was included in this year’s city budget. City merchants also collect a quarter-cent sales tax that is used for street and sidewalk improvements.

The project also includes the addition of a turning lane – undertaken by the Missouri Department of Transportation – at East Highway 17 and Thomasville Drive.

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