For Those That Regularly Use Sparta Rd in Belton, the Construction in the Area Near Loop 121 is a Huge Relief
Let's not even discuss Belton being five years behind schedule in dealing with the traffic along Main St. at FM 439, because at least they're in the process of improving along that busy stretch near HEB. There's still plenty of work left, especially on the 4th of July Parade route. Traffic is at a standstill during that parade. That's unacceptable.
Belton isn't a booming community, it's exploding. The explosion isn't just permanent residents going about their daily lives. The explosion also comes from having one of the top lakes around (when it's more than 67% full), a growing university and a central location to events converging from around the state.
The stretch of road on Main St./Hwy 317 between FM 439 and Lake Road needed to be four lanes about five years back. We're finally seeing the widening of the intersection at 439/317 completed, but once you leave the intersection it's back down to two lanes. You're almost guaranteed to see my blood pressure spike to dangerous levels any time I'm driving that stretch on congested road.
Despite a late start, Belton seems to be headed in the right direction with upcoming improvements recently announced regarding a stretch of Sparta Rd. between Loop 121 and Commerce St. that will include better turning lanes and a roundabout. That should include a fun learning curve for newbies.
Unfortunately, the real stretch in need of widening and improvements lies further down Sparta Rd. near the 9th Grade Center and Sparta Elementary. It's a need because of the high volume of traffic during peak hours in the morning and afternoon, as well as football stadium traffic in the fall.
It's also a need because I've been honked at two different times leaving the school because I didn't see a lone car barreling around the cars turning into the school. I hate being the bad driver, and this traffic situation deserves some (nearly all) of the blame. Everyone knows I'm an excellent driver, especially in the driveway on Sundays.
My suggestion would be four lanes and a turning lane, plus a light at the intersection between the two schools. If I was a betting man I'd say this is already in the future plans, but I'd also think Loop 121 between Sparta Rd. and Hwy 190 would also be four lanes by now.
If Belton requires any further input on the matter, feel free to contact my loud mouth here at the radio station. You'd be surprised how many opinions I have regarding traffic situations throughout Central Texas. I was using the voice-to-text feature on my phone earlier today and didn't realize I hadn't stopped the recording as I was yelling vulgarities at another driver. It wasn't fun seeing my words put (literally) right back in my face after my anger had subsided.