TxDOT construction projects moving forward

TxDOT construction projects moving forward
TxDOT construction projects moving forward

The Texas Transportation Commission approved funds for multiple Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) projects, some affecting Orange, Jefferson and Hardin counties, at its monthly meeting Dec. 18, and a TxDOT representative says current local construction projects are improving Texas roads, making them smoother and safer for drivers.

According to news releases from TxDOT, on Dec. 18 the Texas Transportation Commission approved more than $7 million for preventative maintenance, namely seal coat projects, throughout the Orange, Jefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Chambers and Liberty counties, awarding the contract for the projects to Clark Construction of Texas Inc.

“Each year we let district-wide seal coat projects,” said Tucker Ferguson, TxDOT district engineer for the Beaumont District. “These projects serve as preventative maintenance and increase the life of our roadways.”

Work will begin in spring 2015.

The commission also awarded more than $1.8 million for two other projects in Jefferson County. APAC-Texas Inc. was awarded a $55,000 contract to overlay the road on the levee near the JD Murphree Wildlife Management Area in Port Arthur, and Angel Brothers Enterprises, LTD was awarded a nearly $1.8 million contract to restore FM1406 from FM365 to the Chambers County line.

“Projects like these improve the safety of our roads in Southeast Texas,” Ferguson said. “These roads will be improved and smoother when completed.”

Those projects will also begin in spring 2015.

At the same meeting, the commission approved more than $235,000 in funding for traffic signals in Liberty, Chambers and Jefferson counties. Third Coast Services LLC was awarded the contract.

“Traffic signals and safety lighting can improve safety and congestion,” said Ferguson.

In Jefferson County, TxDOT reports, a traffic signal will be installed on SH 105 at Sweetgum, the entrance to the Bevil Oaks neighborhood. TxDOT Public Information Officer Sarah Dupre said traffic studies of the area indicated the new traffic light at the intersection was necessary. The lights will be installed in spring 2015.

According to Dupre, work already underway on the Neches River Bridge, officially known as the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge, is “moving along.”

“It’s really taking shape,” Dupre said regarding the construction of the bridge.

Cranes and construction crews hard at work can be seen from Interstate 10, especially from the current eastbound lanes. They have started constructing new eastbound lanes of the bridge and have moved from working under the bridge to working alongside flowing traffic, Dupre explained.

In regard to the closing of the onramp from Eastex Freeway to Interstate 10 near Delaware Street in Beaumont, Dupre said the old ramp is closed for good and a new ramp has been constructed just past the old Austin Middle School campus. She said the old ramp was closed to prevent motorists from entering the interstate and attempting to cross three lanes of traffic in order to take the eastbound Interstate 10 exit that was practically right across from the ramp. She said the new setup is “much safer” than the old, and suggested that motorists who want to go eastbound on Interstate 10 from the area or who are going downtown take alternate routes. For example, those heading to eastbound Interstate 10 from Delaware Street could travel further down Delaware, take a right on 11th Street and turn left onto the interstate. If traveling downtown, taking the Eastex Freeway service road to Calder and turning left there, following signs to Interstate 10, could be a better solution.

For a map of the construction, Dupre said to visit TxDOT’s website at www.txdot.gov.


Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com.