Caution! Road work ahead

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE-TV) A typical scene around the nation and East Texas is motorists stopped by a highway work convoy. Sitting. Waiting. Looking for that 'follow me' truck.

"Sometimes they can get really irate," Walter Walker Jr., a flag man said. "But, you know, it is what it is," he said matter of factly.

What it is, is summer. A time when all those orange cones keep us on the straight and narrow road.

"Texas is known for good roads so we like having good roads," said Mike Truitt, a motorist waiting for traffic to move on Highway 7, east of Nacogdoches. "But it is a little time consuming sometimes." Truitt travels the same highway several times a day as an oil field worker.

Just in the Texas Department of Transportation's Lufkin district there are 35 construction projects underway.

"We have many maintenance projects," said Michael Lee, TxDot's resident engineer out of the Nacogdoches office. "We have our construction projects that were pretty dormant during the winter. They're going full fledged now."

In addition, the federal economic stimulus package is funding $27-billion worth of road projects around the nation. Six projects in Houston, Shelby and Nacogdoches counties are funded by stimulus funding.

"The action we have going is keeping a lot of people from losing their jobs," said Lee.

The long wait in work zones is really for the motorist benefit. Work zones are usually well marked, but occasionally you will come up on one that has no signs at all. The main thing, is a motorist should be prepared to stop or at least slow down.

The number one thing we try is to get them through safer," said Lee.

Lee is speaking from his gut right now. His co worker and friend was killed in a work zone accident just yesterday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.