Meeting Held on Possibility of Reopening FM 2497

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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 meeting was held on Friday between TxDOT engineers and contractors, and one project could be moving toward reopening a single lane of travel as work continues to complete construction on a project that has suffered delays and setbacks in the past year.

FM 2497 (Ryan’s Chapel Road) has been closed to traffic since September 2021 for the construction of bridges at Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek Relief.  It was originally set for completion in March 2022, but setbacks and weather have delayed the work.

“The bridges themselves are complete. And a plan has been put together to open one lane of traffic with temporary traffic signals as soon as road base material can be placed at the bridge approaches,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “We need about a week of good weather for this to happen. Once it does, a single lane of traffic will be opened and work will continue under temporary traffic control until the project is completed.”

The contractor is currently working to obtain necessary traffic control equipment and materials so that the roadway can be opened to a single lane of traffic that will allow traffic to flow as soon as possible.

A.L. Helmcamp Inc., Buffalo TX, is serving as contractor for the $5.2 million construction project that will include safety upgrades and extended length and elevation of both bridges. The project was designed to enhance safety and alleviate flooding.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or call (936) 633-4395.

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