NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A portion of Starr Avenue in Nacogdoches will soon be closed to most motorists beginning next week. It's the first of several inconveniences as Texas Department of Transportation begins a major widening project.
Starr Avenue is a popular east-west corridor in Nacogdoches. It's a primary reason why TxDOT wants East Starr widened to four lanes from North Street to Mound Boulevard. With improvements will come some inconveniences.
"This will affect thru traffic trying to access other parts of town," said Amy Mehaffey, the communications director for the City of Nacogdoches. "However, it will not affect local citizens trying to access the residential area, as well as commercial establishments in the area, so anyone trying to get to CVS or nearby apartment complexes are certainly still going to be able to do so."
The $1.4 million project will place right of way boundaries close to existing properties, most of which are owned by Stephen F. Austin State University. Utility relocation comes at no cost to property owners.
In an unrelated project, but still on West Starr, is a bridge replacement across Lanana Creek. Survey crews are in the area. Alternate lane closures will occur to conduct preparation studies for the 2017 project. Motorists are advised to look for directional signage.
"This is a major access street that people utilize often," Mehaffey said. "There will be adequate signage, as well as some boards to direct traffic and to send people on a different route."
Permanent residents are receiving fair warning of the closures. The work may take others off guard. The Starr Avenue widening project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.
During that time, traffic counts will increase dramatically when thousands of SFA students hit town only to discover the road just south of campus may be blocked.
The long-term TxDOT project is allowing for wider, more accessible streets for Nacogdoches residents, city leaders said.
Other projects to watch for will be the lane striping on North Street which follows the recent resurfacing.