U.S. 59 Near Term Project Will Begin Soon - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/01/06 - Lufkin

U.S. 59 Near Term Project Will Begin Soon

by Ramonica R. Jones

Taco Bell, Super 8, Chevron, and Hollywood Video are just a few of the Lufkin businesses expected to eventually shut down once TxDot begins the U.S. 59 Near Term Project. Discount Tire and Whataburger are among the companies planning to work around the construction.

Steve Evans, TxDot's Right-of-Way Administrator, said, "They're being compensated for the real estate. We're buying that and then we have a relocation program that will assist them in moving to another location."

Several businesses have already closed because of the project, including the China Fun restaurant and the Briars Club on Highway 59."

Those buildings have been there for more than 20 years.

Business owner, Chad Wilson, said, "We've known it's gonna happen. They've been discussing this for about ten years and it was actually a sign of relief that it finally came instead of hesitating about this issue."

The project affects Brentwood and Whitehouse to the loop and back around to Tulane. Drivers are urged to be patient as the project gets underway, because it'll be worth the headache in the long run.

"There'll be another direct connector - this one coming from the south - that'll take you east onto the loop," Evans said. "We have the one now that takes you from the loop back south. It will be similar to that. It'll be along side of it."

The right-of-way acquisitions should be complete by August, but the actual construction part of the project will take about three years to finish.

The right-of-way portion of the project will cost between $20- and $25 million. It includes buying land, businesses, concrete, and utility adjustments. The cost of construction is an estimated $26 million. Once its complete, drivers can expect safer roads and easier access to businesses along 59.

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