Construction project on Nacogdoches' Starr Ave. on pace for early 2018 completion

Construction project on Nacogdoches' Starr Ave. on pace for early 2018 completion

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Contractors on the Starr Avenue bridge in Nacogdoches project have made significant progress at the Lanana Creek crossing.

Using a huge crane on site, Drewery Construction began dropping beams into place across Lanana Creek. A new 160-foot bridge will have four 11-foot lanes, five-foot shoulders and five-foot sidewalks on both sides of the bridge.

It will be an improvement for motorists and pedestrians alike. The current closure is an inconvenience, but the state footing the $1.7-million cost is a plus.

"Having state owned roads, which is typical throughout the state of Texas, especially in small rural towns, they maintain and operate those roads, so it's a cost we don't have to pay with our local tax dollars," said Steve Bartlett, Nacogdoches' city engineer.

A single south lane closure on university drive allowed the safe unloading of heavy equipment. Today the lane was reopened before noon. Another closure on Tuesday is expected. Communication is key for all parties involved.

"And that's important to us if for nothing else for emergency services because we have very few east-west corridors, and so every one of those are very important for us to have mobility throughout the city," Barlett said.

The project is on schedule to be completed in early 2018. The reprieve from construction zones 
will be short-lived. The widening of East Austin at Raguet is next on the books.

"We're beginning to finish design for moving utilities next, as are the other utility providers, and so I just think it's going to be at tight squeeze on Austin," Bartlett said.

The Texas Department of Transportation agreed not to have both projects going at the same time.

Studies are currently underway on whether or not a traffic light is needed at the Austin and Raguet intersection. 
 Also underway is design work to move utilities at the proposed South Street flyover. 
Actual construction isn't expected to take place until 2019.

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