TxDOT has reopened one northbound lane of SL 287 and work will continue to open one southbound loop before an emergency contract will signal the beginning of a project next week.
An emergency contract is expected to be in place and work begun by mid-week that will resurface the loop from its current condition. A final surface layer will be applied and work will be completed as soon as possible, weather permitting.
Angelina County Maintenance employees have worked around the clock since Thursday morning when the sealcoat asphalt that was placed prior to Hurricane Harvey melted from the roadway and damaged vehicles. The amount of rain received caused the road surface to remain wet and gravel became loose exposing the asphalt to vehicle traffic.
“We will continue to work this weekend to open the southbound side of the loop with one lane of traffic and then we are scheduled for striping on Sunday. By midweek, we should be ready to begin removing the temporary patch placed by TxDOT crews and put a final surface down, said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “We regret the inconvenience this has caused to the public, but we will do our best to complete the work in a timely manner.
“It is never easy to close a major thoroughfare such as our loop,” she said. “Once the decision was made early Thursday morning to close, it took about two hours to complete the tasks and enlist the help needed to complete the closure.”
TxDOT employees from Tyler, Nacogdoches and San Jacinto counties are assisting with the work since about 40 Lufkin District employees were deployed last week and this week to Houston and Beaumont to aid in disaster recovery and cleanup after Hurricane Harvey.
“No one could have foreseen how this event played out,” Oaks said. “The new rock and asphalt simply did not have time to set before the heavy rains began. We want the public to know that we are going to make this right and restore the east loop to an improved condition for the traveling public.”
For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.
Misty graduated from Angelina College in May 2012 after serving two semesters as editor and co-editor for the college newspaper. Looking for an outlet to put her experience and degree to work, she joined MSGPR as an intern for LufkinPantherSports.com, covering everything from swim meets to football games. She has also written on a variety of other topics, fulfilling a desire to help clients’ creatively communicate with their community while at MSGPR. In 2014, she became editor for Texas Forest Country Living.