Traffic was routed around an accident Thursday morning on State Highway 19N near FM 1537. Northbound traffic on 19N was routed to the Mahoney cut-off. Two vehicles were involved in the accident that closed Highway 19 near the intersection.
Currently, residents in northern Hopkins County that often travel State Highway 19N are forming a coalition to seek more immediate changes to the roadway that combines both State Highway 19 and State Highway 154 connecting to State Highway 24 providing a route between Sulphur Springs and Paris. Some speed changes and other physical changes to the roadway are planned for the future. However, a number of accidents in recent years, several fatal, have prompted the immediate concern.
Highway 19N Coalition will have its first meeting June 19, 2018 at the North Hopkins School Cafeteria. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. According to organizers, they are seeking to unite the community to bring a safer road for the daily travel of residents in northern Hopkins County. Organizers have commend the efforts of Commissioner Precinct 4, Danny Evans. Evans term ends December 31st. In March, 2017, Evans served as a catalyst for conversation between the county and TxDOT regarding the roadway. In May, TXDOT announced they had concluded a detailed speed study on State Highway 19, from Loop 301 in Sulphur Springs to State Highway 24 in Delta County. After reviewing the results of the study, TXDOT has proposed a speed reduction pending approval from the Texas Transportation Commission. This proposal is on the agenda for the June commission meeting. Following TTC approval, TXDOT will install new regulatory speed limit signs.
The proposed speed limit reduction will lower the existing speed limit from 70 mph to 65 mph from Loop 301 to the Delta County line, and reduce the speed limit from 65 mph to 55 mph through Birthright. TXDOT also has two upcoming Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) projects on State Highway 19: The first project is set to let for bidding in May 2020. The project limits are from the Delta County line to SH 154 and will consist of extending and installing safety end treatments for cross drainage structures, upgrading bridge rail, and upgrading metal beam guard fence. The second project is set to let for bidding in August 2020. The project limits are from Loop 301 in Sulphur Springs to FM 1537 and will consist of extending drainage structures, upgrading bridge rail and metal beam guard fence, and installing a passing lane.