Dewitt construction headache for Vidor residents

Photo by Kevin King

Construction of a deep bore sewer line under the Kansas City Southern railroad track crossing near the corner of South Dewitt Road and Old Highway 90 West in Vidor that has caused some inconvenience for drivers who are used to using Dewitt to access Interstate 10 from their homes in the area is nearing its end.

The closure, which began more than three weeks ago, is due to a $4.7 million project to connect sewer lines from the Cloverleaf wastewater treatment plant, near Dogwood Drive, to the new Oak Lane wastewater treatment plant, a $13.8 million project in itself. Both are projects of Orange County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1.

Project manager Jeff Scogin of Carroll & Blackman Inc. said the contractor had originally estimated the South Dewitt portion of the project to be completed last Friday, Sept. 20, but that contractors were backfilling Sept. 25. Scogin said he believes the South Dewitt section will either be finished by Friday, Sept. 27, or sometime next week.

Residents of South Dewitt and surrounding roads have had to detour down Moreland Street to Lindberg and Byrd Streets to reach South Dewitt.

“The back roads are really narrow and seem a lot more cluttered than South Dewitt,” said Holt Buchanan, Port Arthur firefighter and resident of Laura Lane, a connecting road to South Dewitt. “It’s definitely hindering us as we go to work. I can’t wait until it’s finished. It’s driving me nuts.”

Buchanan said that the project is also affecting business at the Fastlane convenience store at 695 Highway 90.

“That poor store. They said they’re losing business really bad,” he said. “I used to go down South Dewitt and pull over there and get my gas, but I don’t stop there anymore. You can’t even go back that direction to go over the tracks and head out to the freeway. It’s a headache.”

Scogin said that once the South Dewitt portion of the project is complete, contractors would begin digging near the entrance of North Dewitt and Interstate 10. The bore will pass under the freeway and associated storm drainage boxes, which are buried under the freeway. North Dewitt will remain closed at the service road intersection.