Construction started on Loop 287 crossovers near Ellen Trout Zoo

Construction started on Loop 287 crossovers near Ellen Trout Zoo

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A construction plan initiated by the Texas Department of Transportation broke ground Wednesday in hopes of fixing multiple dangerous cross roads on Loop 287. These changes will redirect traffic in an area populated by multiple businesses.

Debby Lee, with the Henderson Expo Center, was interested in the construction because the Expo Center is located near the crossover on Martin Luther King, one of the crossroad to be changed. That crossover was also the location of two vehicle deaths in 2016, which has Lee agreeing with the change.

"From a safety standpoint, absolutely, absolutely, and the big change will be people cant come across Martin Luther Kind," said Lee.

Rhonda Oaks with Tex Dot said that the decision was made after months of study.

"Last summer we decided that this area really needed to be enhanced because there were motorists that weren't yielding," said Oaks. "They were going straight across the loop from MLK into the zoo and that's the most unsafe thing you can do."

The construction plan detailed the transformation of the MLK crossover into a left turn lane only, on the north bound side of 287.

"Making it easier to understand, if you're a big truck coming out of the Brookshire Brother's warehouse if you need to go back north, you're going to go down to this U-turn at North Timbaland," said Oaks.

According to Sally Alvis, with Brookshire Brother's, some of the company's employees have even been in accidents in this area, and they are hopeful for a safer environment.

"Our fifty drivers log about three million miles a year," said Alvis. "So, if this involves maybe driving a mile out of the way everyday on their route, it really makes no difference to us because safety is our number one concern."

The crossover across from Brookshire Brother's corporate office was filled in completely today.

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