Funding needed to fix Lufkin's traffic troubles - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Funding needed to fix Lufkin's traffic troubles

TxDot says widening the road will conflict with the railroad. TxDot says widening the road will conflict with the railroad.
Traffic is backed up all over Lufkin intersections. Traffic is backed up all over Lufkin intersections.
One of the problem areas in Lufkin traffic is the Loop 287 One of the problem areas in Lufkin traffic is the Loop 287
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The City of Lufkin and Tx-Dot say simplifying a major intersection at College Drive, Southwood Drive, and Loop 287 is their goal.

The city is fielding a ton of complaints about the pesky intersections.

It's a mega-intersection with major traffic problems.

"It's annoying, it's frustrating. I try to avoid it as much as possible," said Latonia Anders, a Lufkin driver.

 "There is nothing that you can do except sit there and wait," agreed Kenneth Baker, another Lufkin driver.

"We've realized for the past few years that there's a lot of traffic issues right there, particularly during certain times of the day like when the college students are coming out of AC," said Keith Wright, Lufkin Deputy City Manager.

TxDot even did a study on the intersection a few years ago.

Suggestions included moving the crossings or making some roads one way.

But those alternatives would be anywhere from $500,000 to $3 million dollars.

The railroad is one of the most significant hurdles in the way of progress. If you try to widen the road a little, the tracks are there, then if you go down a few feet, the overpass is there. Then, there's the money problem.

"We hope the state's economic situation will improve, that we'll be able to get some funding to do something with that intersection," said Wright, "we know it's an issue. We know people are backed up and they're having a hard time getting through there particularly around the lunch hour."

The First Street exit ramp is also a pain.

And a light is about to go up at Chestnut and Whitehouse to make it safer for drivers.

Then, there's the Cloverleaf at 59 North and the loop, infamous for flipped 18-wheelers.

 TX-dot is reconfiguring that road next year.

"Of course the way the railroad splits the two roads and you have two-way traffic on both sides, crossing on each side, presents a unique problem," said Herbert Bickley, TxDOT Director of transportation operations.

TxDot says money could put the brakes on a solution for years.

If you're looking to avoid the congestion altogether, TxDot suggests using the newly-completed Highway 59.

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