LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Proposed changes could soon affect for those traveling on U.S. 59 between Redland and Lufkin.
The proposed project includes reconstruction of U.S. 59 to bring it to interstate levels by adding frontage roads from FM 2021 all the way to north of U.S. 59 near the Lufkin area.
Texas Department of Transportation held an open house meeting on Tuesday to meet with public to address any concerns, answer questions, and even explain the project's process.
"At this point this meeting is really about a conceptual layout. So it helps us to kind of of gauge the public to see what kind of items we have out there that may be a concern...or really a construction issue," said Jennifer Adams, I-69 project manager.
The proposed upgrades are estimated to cost nearly $20 million.
"Right now the way it exists, driveways have direct connection to US 59," Adams said. "So the biggest thing that we have with this project so that it meets interstate is essentially removing that access to the main lanes by creating frontage roads."
As a result, the reconstruction could possibly displace or even remove area business.
"All of us are very sad because that's the means of our support," said Juanita Aguilar, owner of Casa Morales. "I have about seven employees that I have been full-time for long time. They're very worried about where they're going to go work."
The restaurant owner said TxDOT is working with them until they find a place to relocate.
One resident welcomes the changes.
"We're not worried too much about it because it's increased the value of our property," said John Conlon.
TxDOT said the project developments will also provide an efficient hurricane evacuation route.
In addition, the reconstruction will provide a system to connect to the future 1-69 corridor.
TxDOT is accepting comments until July 12.
Comments can be submitted online on their website: www.txdot.gov, by mail at 1805 N. Timberland Drive, Lufkin, TX 75901 or calling their office at (936) 634-3414.