"People with vision." That's how U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert describes the partnership to expand Whitehouse Drive.
After months of construction, the only east-west corridor, south of Loop 287 is now open. A 10 a.m. Monday ribbon cutting made it official. Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden says the expansion is very forward thinking and is an investment in Lufkin's future. "As the traffic has built south of town, congestion has built and we expect this to relieve that congestion tremendously," Mayor Gorden said. He went on to say this project is a perfect combination of effort between congress, state and local government and TXDOT.
"People that knew what the area needed, who listened to the people and respond and then an entity like TXDOT that makes a great road," said Congressman Louie Gohmert. Gohmert chided TXDOT for being slow to respond in the beginning stages of the project and said only after the persistence of local officials and the help of Gohmert did TXDOT get on board.
Both Gohmert and Gorden say the Whitehouse Drive expansion is a model project for the partnerships that will be needed in the future in order to meet the growing demands of the public. "No one entity can do these things anymore," said Gorden.
The cost of the Whitehouse Drive expansion was 4.5 million dollars. TXDOT with the help of Congressman Gohmert helped secure 2.2 million dollars, and the City of Lufkin provided 2.3 million dollars.