Highway 59, Part One

by Tashun Chism

Highway 59 South has long been a dangerous and troublesome area for East Texas motorists. Many believe a solution to the problem is long overdue.

"It's extremely difficult. It's a lot of problems. Especially around the intersection over there. It's very difficult and there's been quite a few accidents I noticed lately," said East Texas motorist Jason Haskins.

"You slow down to turn in, somebody tries to run over you from the back because they're coming up the highway too fast. And you go on down, try to get out, and you can't get out because they got this thing down here where you turn and go to that stoplight and you have to sit there for an hour sometimes," East Texas motorist David Whitehurst said.

To help prevent problems like these, the Texas Department of Transportation is expanding Highway 59.

TxIDOT officials say for the year 2006 alone, they have a traffic count of 46,000 vehicles passing through the intersection of Highway 59 and Loop 287.

"I guess it's not the getting in as much as the getting out. Sometimes, depending on whether you're going north or south and have to wait on the lights over here on the other side of the Super 8 Motel and trying to cross over and getting back and forth. It's a little bit of a headache," said East Texas Motorist Allen Rush.

Plans call for the lanes on Highway 59 to be widened. Overpasses will also be added in Lufkin to separate large trucks from regular traffic. Many East Texas drivers are looking foward to the final product, but realize they'll have to deal with a lot of construction work first.

"It'll pay off in the longrun. It may be a little bit of a headache right now but it'll be beneficial and pleasant in the end," said Allen.