Several Redland residents could lose their land as plans to fix deadly intersection move forward

Several attended Tuesday night's public hearing
Several attended Tuesday night's public hearing

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – FM 2021 and US 59 is known for its deadly reputation.

"I bypass it and go around it because you can get hurt or killed there real easy," said Beamon Calhoun, who lives off of FM 2021.

For most Redland residents, it's impossible to ignore. Now, after years of planning, TXDOT plans to bring real change to these roads.

"2021 will be an overpass. 2021 will go over US 59," explained Lufkin area engineer for TXDOT, David Collmorgen.

"It will look very similar to Chestnut and the loop here in Lufkin," said Director of Transportation Planning and Development for the Lufkin District, Cheryl Flood.

The diamond interchange will include ramps at all four corners, making it much safer to travel.

Most who attended Tuesday night's public hearing agreed the project is a good thing, but there are some concerns as the plans will result in the displacement of at least 19 residences and 10 businesses, including the Rivercrest/ Redland Volunteer Fire Department.

While property owners will be compensated by the state, many feel it's not a fair deal.

"There are so many intangible costs that you can't put a price tag on it," said one area resident.

"It's a good thing for why they're wanting to do it. I'm concerned because that's my home," said Linda Schneider.

It may not be an even trade but in the end, many say it's necessary.

"We've lost friends and loved ones, known lots of people that's gotten killed on that intersection and it's way passed time something was done," said Doris Calhoun who lives off of FM 2021.

"I wish this overpass was finished tomorrow," said Beamon Calhoun. "Even though I'm going to lose property, it's worth it."

The hope is that this project will keep their community safer, saving lives in the process.

The project is one step closer to approval.

After Tuesday's public hearing, TXDOT will get environmental clearance before finalizing plans.

Construction is set to begin in the Spring of 2013.

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