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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.

Placing new bridge elements in a major construction project at BU 59 and SL 224 continues to confine traffic to a single northbound and southbound lane on US 59 in Nacogdoches, but work is near completion on one road that has been closed since March.

Old Lufkin Road is scheduled to be reopened August 6, weather permitting. The closure was first set to install water line as part of the $86.1 million construction project that includes construction of new US 59 main lanes that will directly connect to SL 224 just south of SH 7 and is being built to interstate standards. The project also includes the construction of overpasses at Spradley Street, existing US 59 and Old Lufkin Road, and the construction of frontage roads for SL 224 between SH 7 and BU 59.

“We have had a few factors that necessitated Old Lufkin Road being closed longer than we first anticipated,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “The biggest being the weather. The contractor has also combined other work items that included the placement of drilled shafts for proposed bridges which was planned at a later time, and the completion of the storm sewer. Completing these things now will help lessen any future closures.”

Concrete barriers are also set in the US 59 median near the SL 224 intersection. The bridge work in the median will eventually connect the east and west sides of the newly constructed main lanes of US 59. Motorists can expect this traffic configuration to continue for about three months.

Motorists are urged to reduce speed and stay alert through the project area from SH 7 west on SL 224 to 1.2 miles south of Spradley Street on US 59. Longview Bridge and Road, Longview TX, is serving as contractor for the project that is on schedule to be completed in spring 2023.

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