Lufkin exit ramp closed to improve road safety

Lufkin exit ramp closed to improve road safety
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

If you've passed through Lufkin on US-59, chances are you've seen one popular exit ramp. Historically, the cloverleaf ramp received it's name due to it's curved-shaped. But it's that curved design that caused some 18-wheelers to lose their loads. It's a scene that's played out over and over again; Truck drivers taking the curve too fast causing them to flip.

But thanks to a new construction project, designed to improve conditions, the ramp is expected to become safer for all motorists.

Crews from the Texas Department of Transportation began work to close the cloverleaf exit ramp in an effort to make a smoother flow of traffic. Instead of the now curved ramp, plans are in place to straighten the roadway. And with the cloverleaf ramp now closed, drivers in the area are hoping it will make their commute a lot safer.

"Well it's a good thing when they finally get it straight. When you come over the top of that hill, then you have that split there, it creates a lot of confusion," said Jack Cobb, truck driver.

A lot of confusion and a lot of wrecks. Cobb has been a truck driver for 28 years and takes US-59 five or six times a week. He's experienced drivers lose their loads in ramps like the cloverleaf and says it's all in how you approach the curve.

"Well, you just driver slower," Cobb said.

TxDOT officials say when it comes to the project, the big picture is to regulate the flow of traffic while adding mobility and ease of access to the roads just off US-59 and Loop 287. For Cobb, it's a welcomed change.

"Oh sure, it'll be fine then. The equipment will be out of the way and it'll be wider," Cobb said.

Wider lanes, allowing drivers like Cobb to travel smoothly and safely with slightly less confusion.

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