Preparing for Construction

The Highway 59 construction project will cause a large portion of Loop 287 to be shut down for a long time. Especially the intersection of Tulane and Loop 287.

David Cullmorgen, Lufkin Area Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, told us, "Probably by mid summer we'll start the work there and that structure will be moved and replaced and it will be closed for 15 to 18 months.>

Closing such a heavily used portion of the loop for so long could be hectic for drivers. That's why Lufkin city officials are taking steps to ease traffic in the Tulane area before constuction begins. Part of the steet has already been increased from two lanes to three.

Lufkin Assistant City Manager Keith Wright said, "What's been constructed to date is Tulane from Whitehouse to Timberland and then you have Whitehouse from 58 to 59.>

City officials have even proposed an ordinance to raise the speed limit from 30 to 40 miles per hour on certain areas of Tulane. A recent study also helped city leaders decide to change the street's speed limit.

"They're running anywhere from 38 miles per to 43 miles per hour so we felt like the 40 an hour in sections was appropriate," said Wright.

Alternate routes for those who normally travel on tulane and Loop 287 are also being promoted.

"We had TxDOT on our Channel 15 Public Access Channel and we're going to do some more things as far as maps to suggest ways around the construction," Wright said.

Those maps are expected to be posted on the City of Lufkin's website in late March or early April.