LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The high speeds and high traffic makes the intersection of U.S. 59 and F.M. 2021 extremely dangerous for its regular drivers. However, a new, state-funded underpass project could change everything.
Wreck after wreck, this intersection seems to be hazardous for travelers because accidents happen on a regular basis.
"There been a lot of them. I mean a lot of them. Right here [at this intersection]," said Dolla Anthony who regularly drives through intersection.
Residents say if you cross this intersection - use extreme caution.
"You just have to wait till you get a lot of room," said Charles Cherry, who has lived and driven through intersection for over 20 years.
"It's scary to cross over especially on the weekends," said regular intersection driver, Amber Langson.
For drivers trying to cross U.S. 59 to get to either side of F.M. 2021, it becomes a dangerous game of dodging the high speed traffic traveling both directions on the highway.
Dolla Anthony lost that game once when another driver didn't see her coming, and couldn't stop.
"I had no choice but to hit him or the pole so I had to make a decision. Totaled my car, but we're both O.K." said Anthony.
Others haven't been as lucky.
"It's a very dangerous intersection. There's been several people killed here. I know a gentleman who lost his arm when he ran into this building behind us," said Cherry.
Adding to the danger - the constant 18-wheeler traffic.
"My wife crosses here 5 times a week and I worry about here - I worry about myself!" said Cherry.
Now, things are about to change in favor of the safety for drivers. The Texas Transportation Commission approved 21.7 million dollars for the construction of an underpass.
The project would keep F.M. 2021 at the same elevation and U.S. 59 would go underneath.
"If you could go over it would be a lot better," said Anthony.
"It would alleviate a lot of traffic problems and probably a whole lot of accidents," said Cherry.
These drivers say they can't wait to see the underpass - come to pass - because it would be a safer and better intersection for all East Texas drivers.
The underpass project at U.S. 59 and F.M. 2021 is designed to increase safety and improve mobility for drivers. TxDot surveyors have already started mapping right of ways for the future underpass.