ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Active construction zones are reworking traffic in much of East Texas, as crews are out resurfacing, expanding, and rebuilding roadways. With so much construction underway, officials urge all motorists to use caution and pay attention to warning signs while driving.
Construction crews were repairing cracks in a recently expanded portion of Highway 7, near Crockett, when Raymond Lawson, the driver of an 18-wheeler, rear-ended a four car line up, causing a domino effect. Authorities say Lawson failed to yield warning signs, which ultimately claimed 59-year-old Teddy Chance's life.
"We have warning signs up down the road, and those orange signs, they're out there for a reason. You need to pay attention. When you see those signs, slow down and look at your surroundings. And, see what's going on," said TXDoT Lufkin-Area Engineer David Collmorgen.
This is just one of several active construction zones in East Texas. About two weeks ago, construction crews wrapped up the first part of a bridge expansion project on Highway 94 in Angelina County.
"Continual road improvements are a necessity for the safety of all of us driving on the roads. We want to make sure that roads are in good operating condition. And, we have to be out there and work those," said DPS Spokesman David Hendry.
The state's population is expected to steadily increase in the coming years. TXDoT and highway officials are working to ensure the roads will meet the increasing traffic demand. Recently, TXDoT announced plans to move forward in developing Interstate 69, which will connect Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Diboll when completed.
"Whether it's businesses, you're going to a Friday night football game, you're moving freight, we've got to move safer and more reliable. And, I think as we look at moving and relieving congestion, it's going to make it safer for Texas," said Texas Transportation Commissioner, Jeff Austin III.
With a never-ending demand for more road space or improvements, officials say it's important to be on the look out for construction.
"We all have to bear our responsibility to play close attention where we're at, you know, and who's in front of us working, what kind of obstacles may be present or potentially could be present," said Hendry.
To find out more information about TXDoT construction projects underway in your area, just click on the link below.