TxDOT on last leg of U.S. 59 completion

By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After nearly two years, the U.S. Highway 59 project is on the road to completion.

"Well hopefully by the end of April, the plan is to have all the facilities open," said Kathi White of TxDOT. "That means the Tulane Bridge, both directions, the main bridge as well as both of the U-turn bridges and the northbound direct connect bridge."

But White says rain does delay the project some. Workers will have to hold off on a bridge inspection or painting the bridges until next week and then hope it doesn't rain.

"Bad weather days are factored into all of the projects and you hope they don't happen, but of course, you have them in case they do and here we are, it's raining," White said.

The weather is only one factor. The project often forces a lot of traffic onto side roads.

"It's just some of the FM roads that are getting quite a bit of high traffic volume, but you know, it's what you have to do in a project like this," White said.

The road closures and detours haven't been easy on drivers.

"I'm ready for it to be over now," motorist Kris Love said. "One you go one day, it takes you out to the other side of town, next day it takes you to the other side of town."

"It's getting better," motorist Jackie Campbell said. "It was tough for a while, especially getting in and out of Wal-Mart."

"I'm ready for it to be finished because you can't get out over there on 58," motorist A.J. Renfro said.

With an end in sight, some drivers are counting down the days.

"Just as soon as it gets through, I know everybody will be happy," motorist Ramsey Owens said.

"Hang with us, a few more months, I know it's been two years, but it's coming to an end," White said. "You can see the end in sight."

For now, drivers rush down the roads waiting for that day in April.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.