LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The 59 construction project in Lufkin at the loop is continually changing, meaning that drivers need to be paying extra attention to the signage.
There was a major change a few weeks ago when the northbound US 59 bridge opened to through traffic but there have been several accidents where the bridge and FM 2021 intersect since the switch.
Slow down and pay attention are the words to drive by when navigating through the Highway 59 project in North Lufkin.
"There is quite a bit of signage that will direct you where you need to go but you just have to be alert and look for it," said TxDOT spokesperson Kathi White.
Most recently there have been a lot of changes at the new northbound bridge at FM 2021.
What people need to pay most attention to is where FM 2021 and the bridge meet. FM 2021 traffic does have to stop. There is a stop sign, a flashing light, and a huge sign that says "Cross-traffic Does Not Stop," but since the bridge opened only a couple of weeks ago, there have already been three accidents at that intersection.
"As far as I know there have been three. One occurred the morning after, another later that week and then another one this weekend," White said.
Saturday, a vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler and then caught fire after trying to cross the highway from 2021.
"Motorists really need to slow down and pay attention, and if you're at 2021 wanting to cross you need to be patient and wait until there's a break in the traffic and it's safe for you to cross the road," White said.
As a result of another major change in the traffic flow, there is now no access to FM 2021 from the loop, and if you're coming from 2021, you cannot cross the northbound lanes on the loop to head southbound anymore.
But TxDOT says drivers need to be patient and always expect changes.
"There's going to be quite a bit of traffic impacts over the next year and a half before the project is completed so motorists just kind of have to be alert and get used to it because you don't know what the changes may be every day," said White.
TxDOT also wants to remind drivers that the speed limit coming into the project is 45 miles per hour. That's for the safety of the crews out working on the project and for drivers trying to navigate unfamiliar territory.