Toll 49 and ETHG Overview
Toll 49 is the proposed corridor in North East Texas connecting Tyler, Longview and Marshall and is the NET RMA’s top priority project. This project is comprised of three previously unrelated projects; Toll 49, a TxDOT project, the proposed outer loop around Tyler, Texas which has been in the planning stages for over 30 years; the Longview Outer Loop, a proposed project that has conceptually been known as the East Texas Hourglass (ETHG), with connection to Marshall and the US 59/I-69 corridor; and the Lindale Relief Route, an extension of Toll 49 from I-20 west of Tyler to US 69 north of Lindale. Toll 49 has been broken into segments for further project development.
The TxDOT Tyler District has done a great deal of work on the planning and design of this loop. However, due to limited finances, TxDOT projected that construction on Toll 49 might not be completed until 2033. In January, 2006, the Texas Transportation Commission designated the new Tyler loop as a Toll Road, and provided the NET RMA with a $12.25 million Toll Equity Grant to assist TxDOT in advancing the design and construction of Toll 49. With assistance from NET RMA, and based upon the concept of using toll revenue to help finance the roadway design and construction, the road connecting SH 110 to IH 20 was opened in 2013.
Toll 49 is initially being designed and constructed as a two-lane roadway, with one lane traveling in each direction. There will be no centerline barriers on the roadway, so travelers will be able to pass slower vehicles when conditions allow a safe passing movement. In later years, a second set of travel lanes will be constructed, so that Toll 49 will ultimately be a four-lane divided highway with a grassed center median, similar to Interstate 20 near Tyler.
Customers are able to travel this road using a Texas based Toll Tag to enable driving from one end of the Toll Road to the other without having to slow down to pay a toll. In addition, customers without a Texas based Toll Tag have their License Plate captured by video cameras and are sent an invoice in the mail. Either way, customers on Toll 49 are able to drive the roadway without delays or disruptions.
As a Toll Road, Toll 49 will offer drivers a choice of a fast-moving, convenient method of traveling around the city, as well as providing quick access to IH-20 for travel to Dallas, Shreveport, and points beyond.