The Paris, Texas Loop 286 project consists of a series of proposed improvements aimed at improving safety, increasing regional mobility, improving traffic operations, and addressing roadway deficiencies. The proposal consists of two short-term projects for the Southeast Loop and Northeast Loop, as well as a long-term project for the entire 15.5-mile Loop 286 around Paris, Texas.
The ultimate project improvements include:
- Adding additional lanes
- Separating high speed and low speed traffic with main lanes and frontage roads on the north section of the loop
- Improving safety through signage and lighting
- Improving traffic flow with turn lanes and signal timing and locations
- Improving drainage with culverts, ditches, curbs, and gutters
- Improving access for existing and future developments
- Adding sidewalks and wide paths for bicycles and pedestrians
- Ensuring bridges and overpasses meet clearance requirements
Short-term Southeast Loop and Northeast Loop Updates
The Southeast Loop phase of the ultimate Loop 286 project will affect the section of highway between SH 19/SH 24 to FM 906. This part of the project alone is estimated to cost $20.2 million and proposes the following:
- Expanding the roadway to four lanes
- Adding a wide path for bicycles/pedestrians
- Improving the intersection of South Collegiate Drive near Paris High School
The Northeast Loop improvements are a continuation of TxDOT’s 2010 Pine Mill Road intersection project and encompass the section of highway from Stillhouse Road to Lamar Avenue. With an estimated cost of $73.4 million, this project proposes the following updates:
- Adding lanes and an overpass at North Collegiate Drive
- Adding sidewalks and wide paths for bicycles/pedestrians
- Improving safety with lighting, advanced warning signs and flashing beacons
- Improving drainage with additional culverts, curbs and gutters
- Improving traffic flow by adding traffic signals, adjusting signal timing based on traffic needs, and adjusting the number of left turn/thru lanes
- Improving access for current and future developments
Paris Loop 286 and Eminent Domain
For many landowners, the Paris Loop 286 improvements may encroach on their home or business property. “Eminent domain” is a legal term used when the government takes private property for a public purpose. However, the United States and Texas Constitutions require that landowners be fairly compensated when their property is taken.
As TxDOT moves forward with its plans for Loop 286, if your property is affected, it will be important that you remain diligent to protect your rights.
Affected zip codes for this project include:
How Does Eminent Domain Work?
If TxDOT approaches you about use of your property during the Paris Loop 286 improvements project, it is important to understand the eminent domain process.
The government must follow state and federal laws when taking property through eminent domain. The government entity (TxDOT in this case) initiates the process by sending a written notice to the property owner. This notice explains the government’s plans for the property. A property owner may then be contacted by a surveyor and later on by an appraiser hired by TxDOT to value the property being taken. A property owner may also be contacted by a right-of-way agent who is a contractor working for TxDOT. At some point TxDOT will make a formal offer and give the owner a chance to respond. If the owner does not respond or does not want to sell, the government can file a lawsuit to take the property. This is called a condemnation lawsuit.
To take the property, the government must show that it is for a public use. This means the property will be used for something that benefits the community as a whole. The government must also prove that it is using the least amount of private property necessary to achieve its public goal.
If you are approached by TxDOT about use of your property, it is important to understand your rights as a Texas landowner. Just because TxDOT makes an offer does not mean that is the amount you have to accept. Speaking to a Texas eminent domain attorney before accepting an offer can ensure that you don’t accept an offer that is far less than what you should be paid.
Get Help from a Texas Eminent Domain Attorney
Dawson & Sodd is a dedicated Texas eminent domain law firm. We represent only landowners in eminent domain proceedings — never the government. Our lawyers have decades of experience in eminent domain and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive a fair offer for your property.
If you are approached by TxDOT about the Loop 286 project, please contact us today for a free consultation. We will answer any questions you may have and help you understand your legal rights.