ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Over $2 million of federal money was approved Friday for constructions projects in the Lufkin area, including the addition of a traffic light on the US Highway 69 intersection, at FM 326.
The light is a result of a traffic study the Texas Department of Transportation conducted last year, to investigate the reason behind a large number of wrecks, near the intersection.
"I've lived here 40 years, and I've seen a lot of wrecks," said resident, Ivonne Hunt.
Less than a year ago, Hunt lost a friend to a wreck at the Bald Hill intersection, an event that drove her to seek an answer to the traffic issue.
"I didn't know a stop sign, fix the turn lane, I didn't know what," Hunt said. "But, they did a study. We got lots of folks involved."
Residents blame Highway 69s turn lane for blinding drivers, exiting FM 326. The area is also known for it's high volume of traffic.
"You literally cannot see if there are cars beside it," Hunt said. "And, a lot of the folks will just pull out."
Flashing warning and stop signs were added a few years ago, but, at least two, major accidents were reported at that intersection, in 2017.
"I take that commute every morning, to take my daughter to school," said another resident, Alicia Herrera. "And, I have a 3-year-old that sometimes I have to take. So, therefore, we put basically my whole family in jeopardy when I try to cross, to get onto 69."
The project's funding of over $150,000 comes from the Highway Safety Improvement Program and the Preventive Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program.
"It's a big relief, and I'm hoping this saves a lot of lives and makes it a lot easier for all of us, that live down this way, to be able to get to where we're going, safely," Herrera said.
According to TxDot, the time line for completion of the traffic light has not yet been set.