Lufkin announces detours for Fuller Springs Drive reconstruction

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's a construction project that's sure to cause problems for residents and motorists alike.

Two neighboring schools, with a main road under construction, and students just days away from returning to the classroom.

"It was a real quiet street when I purchased this home, but now, the traffic is horrendous," Joyce Lane resident Barry Bell said.

School starts in one week for Lufkin ISD, but a traffic nightmare could be brewing for people like Bell and his fiance living near Slack Elementary and Burley Primary.

"It only takes 10 minutes to get to her job and she's going to have to leave 30 minutes earlier just to try to make it off of this street," Bell said.

Bell lives on Joyce Lane, feet from Fuller Springs Drive where the city is putting in a turn lane starting at Chestnut.

When it's complete, cars picking up students at Slack and Burley schools can line up in the turn lane without blocking the main lanes.

"There's something good going to come from it," Slack Elementary Principal Robin Stowe said. "The street will be wider, the traffic will ease that way."

Until the whole project is complete, parents and guardians will need to follow city detours.

Starting Monday, those coming to Burley, will need to turn onto Joyce Lane from Hwy 69 south, then turn left onto Fuller Springs Drive. Joyce Lane will be a one-way street from the hours of 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

To get to Slack, take Chestnut, turn onto Bartmess, and a left on Fuller Springs Drive will take you to Slack's circle drive. Then leave the way you came because the rest of Fuller Springs will still be under construction.

"It's going to be rather confusing," Lufkin Police Department Sgt. David Walker said. "It's going to be really congested and also we're going to have children on the streets, so you just have to pay attention to what's going on."

Bell said had he known what he is about to go through, he would've never bought his Joyce Lane home more than 15 years ago.

However, the city and the district is hoping all the construction will eventually be the solution to a massive congestion problem.

Lufkin ISD is urging students to ride the bus or carpool.

The entire Fuller Springs Drive project should be completed by April of 2012.

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