NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches residents and businesses gathered at the County Expo Center to catch up with big changes going on in their community. The US 59/State Loop 224 South Interchange, part of the Interstate 69 project is well underway.
Traveling to and from Nacogdoches recently, you might have noticed the road work zones.
"It's a nightmare!" said Pam Stokes, a Nacogdoches resident.
It's congested, but it's all for a greater cause. TxDOT invited the community to an open house Thursday night to discuss the US 59/State Loop 224 South Interchange project.
"We are wanting to bring to the public the changes that we have made since the original schematic that we had approved since 2011," said Jennifer Adams, the I-69 Project Manager.
Business owners and residents, some reminiscent on the small road that used to be 59 back in the day, gathered with TxDOT officials to discuss layouts and answer questions.
"I think in general, it's been pretty positive. I think a lot of people in the community want this project. I think it will be helpful," Adams said.
"I think that it will bring growth to the community which we need. I think it's important for our businesses in general," Stokes said.
Maps and virtual models of the finished project were on display.
"Everyone tonight has been interested in seeing what the changes were and how they would affect their properties," Adams said.
"One of the designated routes was right through our property, so I was really happy when they moved it back to 59!" Stokes said.
Once Phase I is complete, the US 59 and Loop 224 intersection will have sidewalks, raised medians, and a widened roadway. Those at open house say the only con is the traffic they are having right now.
"The traffic situations something we will all have to handle it for a little while," Stokes said.
Phase II of the project, which would involve construction of new US 59 lanes, overpasses at Spradley Street, and frontage roads on State Loop 224, would ease the bumper to bumper according to TxDOT.
"Phase II, which is what we are actually here to talk about, will be the direct connector. That should alleviate some of the congestion at business 59," Adams said.
Phase two has not yet been funded, but it is still in the works.
"We are working on getting the reevaluation approved and the new updates to the schematic approved," Adams said.
Until then, completion of phase one is approaching.
"Right now that's kind of where we're at!" Adams said.
"I'm looking forward to when they get the loop completed so we don't have that back up in the traffic," Stokes said.
The Phase I section of the "Future I-69" Project should be done by Spring 2017.