Highway 59 construction project latest

LUFKIN, TX - Here's an update from the Texas Department of Transportation on the U.S. Highway 59 project in Lufkin:

* The night time operation planned for Loop 287 tonight has been postponed until Thursday evening February 26. The operation was to prepare for a traffic switch so that work could begin on the south side of the Tulane Drive Bridge.

* Work is now underway on the U.S. 59 mainlanes and motorists have no doubt noticed that the mainlanes at U.S. 59 and Loop 287 have been torn up as the construction process begins. The southbound mainlanes at Loop 287 have been reduced to one travel lane for a short distance. The southbound frontage road has been opened and motorists can stay on that lane to reach businesses such as Huntington State Bank, Wal-Mart, Sam's, etc. Those who want to continue on U.S. 59 to points further south will notice a temporary ramp installed in the vicinity of HSB that will put them back on the mainlanes.

* By 5 p.m. Tuesday, TxDOT will be routing U.S. 59 northbound traffic onto the newly constructed frontage road. Once motorists travel under the recently completed Whitehouse/Daniel McCall Drive Bridge they will enter a temporary northbound ramp onto the frontage road. They will remain on the two-lane ramp until exiting back onto U.S. 59. Those in the left lane must enter U.S. 59 which will take them into Lufkin. The right lane will be routed around the eastbound frontage road to continue east or go to Loop 287.

* One other note, Harmony Hill Drive/FM 1877 traffic cannot enter U.S. 59 but must stay on the frontage road. However, northbound traffic in the right lane can exit the frontage road onto Harmony Hill Drive/FM 1877.

Traffic has been flowing relatively smoothly with some delays which could be short or long depending on the time of day. The traveling public is encouraged to use caution when traveling through the construction zone and to look for posted advanced warning and detour signs. Also slow down and exhibit patience while traveling through the area for the safety and protection of motorists, pedestrians and workers.