NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Construction began last week to repair a guard rail at U.S. Highway 259 and Business 59 in Nacogdoches County, which also known as the Garrison Y.
However, in a few short days, both the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Transportation received complaints on traffic flow. As of Tuesday, numerous drivers were reported making illegal U-turns among other offenses.
"It's too many wrecks, and somebody is going to lose their life. It's just not worth it," said Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges.
Bridges and his department have been closely monitoring a construction zone that has prompted reports of accidents and illegal turns.
Crews with TxDOT are working to repair the guard rail on Highway 259 and Business 59 after several 18-wheelers overturned during the summer months.
"The project started first of last week. We had a detour in place," said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer with TxDOT. "Unfortunately motorist were not respecting the signage and the way we had the roadway blocked."
TxDOT made the decision to close Business 59 Friday to ensure more safety and to deescalate a dangerous situation while only allowing local residents to pass through.
"We've had a lot of complaints in the area, and TxDOT has been addressing them to make it as safe as possible with the traffic flow," Bridges said.
Eleven accidents have been reported since the project began.
"The main thing that has contributed to that is people breaking the law," Bridges said. "They have been moving the barricade, making U-turns in the roadway. I don't why they have been doing it, but it's very unsafe to do that."
Fines in construction zones are doubled.
"We don't want to be writing tickets, especially during the holiday weekend. But we've had 11 accidents out here, and that's entirely too many," Bridges said.
Both agencies are urging those who travel in the construction zone to slow down.
"We wanted to put an end to the accidents and possible accidents in that area as well as just stop the through traffic completely," Oaks said.
TxDOT said construction should be completed within two weeks.