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Rhonda Oaks
Rhonda Oaks is the Public Information Officer for the nine-county Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. A Lufkin native, she is a graduate of Hudson High School and Angelina College. She has a background in print journalism and worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She has received eight Associated Press awards. Her articles have been published in many publications over the past 25 years.

 A virtual pre-construction meeting was held in the Lufkin Area Office Friday signaling the start of a new construction project in Angelina County that will require a road closure to through traffic for the replacement of two bridges.

Crews will set barricades in coming days on FM 2497 (Ryan Chapel Road) for the demolition and reconstruction of bridges and approaches at Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek Relief. The road is scheduled to be closed to through traffic on Sept. 15. Detour signage will be provided for the duration of the closure.

A.L. Helmcamp Inc., Buffalo TX, will serve as contractor for the $5.2 million construction project that will include safety upgrades and extended length and elevation of both bridges. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2022, weather permitting.

“This project is expected to alleviate flooding that we often see in this low-lying area of the county. We have dealt with the roadway being impassable many times during heavy rains at Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek Relief and these new bridges should help prevent that,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “We urge motorists to stay aware of the closure and avoid the area during construction.”

As this project begins, motorists are urged to stay alert to signage announcing the closure, obey all traffic control in the area and choose alternate routes until the project is completed. The closure will be monitored by local law enforcement and TxDOT crews.

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