Angelina County Chamber urges TxDOT to finish cleanup associated - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Angelina County Chamber urges TxDOT to finish cleanup associated with loop tar incident

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

In a letter to the engineer for TxDOT’s Lufkin district, the president of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce urged that the agency “prioritize and finish the clean associated with the asphalt application” that occurred on the loop on Aug. 31, 2017, at the state’s expense.

Jim Johnson, the president of the Lufkin/Angelina Chamber of Commerce, sent the letter to Cheryl Flood, the Texas Department of Transportation’s Lufkin district engineer on Dec. 20, 2017.

“Multiple statements from TxDOT have advised people to go through a website to file a complaint; however, multiple businesses and roadways still have damage and require cleanup from the project.

The letter also states that Lufkin is a regional retail hub for 12 counties and serves a retail and medical population of 250,000 people.

“The Chamber believes that correct measures should be taken to ensure our city is aesthetically appealing and received well by those shopping, utilizing our first-class medical facilities or simply passing through on US 59,” the letter states.

Johnson also said that the chamber hopes TxDOT “would utilize their existing resources to prioritize the cleanup on roadways and businesses to maintain an acceptable appearance of our community.”

In early January, the chamber sent out a letter to Angelina County business. The letter contained a link to a brief survey that asks for information on the businesses and how they were affected by the asphalt application on east Loop 287 on Aug. 31, 2017.

“It is our hope that the results of this survey will urge TxDOT to utilize their existing resources to prioritize the cleanup on roadways and businesses to maintain an acceptable appearance of our community,” the letter states.

In late December of 2017, State Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, announced his plans to speak with TxDOT’s leadership about the ongoing issues related to the August incident in which asphalt from a construction zone on the Lufkin loop got on hundreds of vehicles.

Rhonda Oaks, a spokeswoman for TxDOT, said that the heavy rainfall that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Harvey caused the rock on the east side of Loop 287 to come loose before an asphalt application had time to set properly.

On Aug. 31, the Lufkin Police Department shut down that side of the loop after tar from the road stuck to hundreds of cars, pickups, and 18-wheelers. In addition, the tar was spread to business parking lots and streets from North Timberland Drive to South First Street.

Click here for more stories related to the ongoing issues related to the Aug. 31, 2017, incident.

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