ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - After months of studying, the Texas Transportation Commission has approved re-configuring school zones at Central ISD.
The new changes are on their way for at a portion of U.S. Highway 69 in an area where drivers see two separate school zones for the school district.
“There’s a little section in between the schools where the speed limit would increase. So what we’ve done is we’ve taken that little section and will make the speed limit 55 mph right there,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer with TxDOT.
The 55 mph speed limit will also be extended further north of the Central Elementary School.
Crews will also move the southbound overhead flashing lights closer to the bottom part of the hill on the highway.
“So that southbound travelers coming up on that hill can see school zone before they ever get there. They can’t right now. I mean they’re right there on it before they on top of that hill and all of the sudden they’re on it. So it’s gonna be moved,” Oaks said.
Driver Emily Delafosse says, “moving that overhead signal down, that’s what’s going to help a lot.”
Delafosse said it will help drivers to slow down.
“Because a lot of people think after that elementary school zone they get in both lanes and they’re zip over that hill and they’ve got to slam on the brakes and changes lanes back on the right hand because inside that lane is still shut down and you don’t know that until top that hill.” Delafosse said.
The decision to change U.S. Highway 69 was made after TxDOT studied the area last February.
“Of course last year we saw several accidents which prompted this study and investigation,” Oaks said.
Earlier this year, Texas Department of Public Safety worked four crashes involving at least 11 vehicles during the third week of January, all were inside the Central ISD school zone.
TxDOT officials say changes will go into effect as soon as the new signs are posted. That will take a couple of weeks.