TxDOT updates council on Beaumont projects

Adam Jack, TxDOT director of Transportation Planning and Development

Texas Department of Transportation staff spoke at Beaumont City Council on Oct. 17 to update city leaders on the progress of widening projects totaling $650 million, including the ongoing Neches River Bridge construction.

Engineer Adam Jack, Director of Transportation Planning and Development for TxDOT in Beaumont, told the council that construction is going well and estimated the timeframe when several planned multi-million dollar projects along Interstate 10 would go out for bid.

“Several years ago we started a strategic plan for our Interstate 10 to widen the facility to six lanes from Winnie to the border of Louisiana,” Jack described. “I’m happy to report at this point in time success is on the horizon.”

Jack said there are “a few sections left” where construction needs to be completed. TxDOT is planning on widening the freeway from four to six lanes from FM 365 East to CR131 (Walden Road). The $133.4 million project covers 9.9 miles of road and is expected to go out for bid in Fall 2018. Design is already underway for this project. The project would eliminate the Brooks Road overpass and tie Brooks Road directly to the frontage road in that area, according to Jack.

The I-10/Cardinal Drive Interchange project would widen the freeway to six lanes from Walden Road east to US 90. The $155 million project covers 2.5 miles of roadway and will connect the frontage roads along Cardinal Drive and along Interstate 10, said Jack. He said providing a connected and accessible frontage road system would allow better traffic flow during traffic events on the interstate and would give emergency vehicles another route to access when needed. The project is expected to go out for bid in May 2024.

“The Eastex Freeway Interchange, what we like to call ‘The Curve,’ we anticipate to be a $250 million project,” said Jack. “We’ve had a number of severe accidents in that area.”

The plan for the Eastex Freeway Interchange is to widen the freeway to six lanes and reconstruct the interchange. The construction would impact 2.5 miles of road from Hollywood overpass east to 7th Street in order to improve The Curve and alleviate traffic in the area. It is projected to go out for bid in 2027.

Reconstruction of the Neches River Bridge began in June 2012. Jack estimated the $58.9 million project would be complete next summer in spite of equipment losses by the contractor from Hurricane Harvey flooding.

“We’ve made a lot of great progress out there,” Jack told council. “We are continuing to move forward and are committed to the July 2018 (completion) date.”

Jack said TxDOT is looking at widening Eastex Freeway in the future.