FIXIN’ 349 EFFORTS
In 2010, we launched our FIX349.com campaign to build public support for the expansion of State Highway 349 between Midland and Lamesa.
Despite all our previous efforts to improve this two-lane, poor quality roadway, transportation officials did not deem the project worthy. Despite traffic increases, crashes and fatalities, and previous promises made to improve this roadway, the answer we got back, time after time, was simply, no.
That is, until they heard from you. Thousands of folks from the Permian Basin and Texas registered online with your comments and support for this project.
Today, State Highway 349 from Midland to Lamesa looks very different. As a four-lane roadway with improved shoulders and rumble strips, it has more capacity and is far safer to travel. Work still continues on the southern cross or direct connector between SH 349 and US 87, just south of Lamesa via an expanded FM 2052. This project provides a better connection between the two roads, prevents traffic from having to connect by driving through residential and school neighborhoods to get to US 87, and improves safety at the intersection of SH 349 and SH 137.
When this project began, we never imagined we would have a real-life angel on our side. Jami and her children lost their husband and father, Mark Owen, in a tragic crash on SH 349, and our community lost a treasured soul. Jami turned the pain and grief she and her children suffered into determination and resolved to make this road safer and ensure that others would never have to experience the terrible loss she and her family did.
Her heart, determination, and leadership made this project a reality, and has taught us all how to persevere and be positive even in the most painful situations. Thank you, Jami!
SH 349/ US 87 Connector Completed
The final piece of our effort to improve SH 349 between Midland-Odessa and Lamesa was completed this year. The connector between SH 349 and US 87 just south of Lamesa, more commonly known as the Southern Cross was completed and opened to traffic in September.
Expansion of SH 349 from I-20 in Midland to US 67 in Rankin
A planning project recently began to look at the expansion of SH 349 South of I-20 to US 67 as a four lane divided roadway. An initial public hearing was held in November (2020) to gain public input on the project. Environmental review and preliminary design work is taking place on this heavily energy impacted corridor over the next year.
From 2015 to present, SH 349 from I-20 to US 67 saw a 30% traffic increase and that level is anticipated to grow by another 45% between now and 2038. Since 2015 we also saw a 96% increase in crashes.
These improvements will ultimately result in addressing capacity issues, improving safety, and development of an important connection between I-20 and I-10.