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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.

The Lufkin District is continuing with many construction and maintenance projects throughout its nine county district, with three major construction projects underway and progressing well as weather permits. These projects include:

US 69 South: Construction on US 69 south of Huntington is well into the construction phase. The $71.6 million project will widen US 69 from two lanes to a divided rural four lane highway from FM 844 to FM 1270. Johnson Brothers, Roanoke, TX is serving as contractor.

Crews are currently constructing the overpass at SH 63 in Zavalla with bridge pours scheduled at entry/exit ramps. Dirt work also continues for the new southbound lanes from FM 844 to BW Horton Road. Hot mix is being placed on newly constructed northbound turn lanes between BW Horton Road and Ozias Road, and construction of new northbound lanes will continue between Barge Road and SH 63. This project began in July 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Work is also continuing from FM 1270 to the Jasper County line that will continue the construction of a four-lane divided highway. Drewery Construction Co., Nacogdoches TX, is serving as contractor for the $37.5 million project that is scheduled to complete in early 2023. Current work includes clearing south of Earnest Smith Road and dirt and structure work for the new northbound lanes between FM 1270 and Chambers Road.

These projects will provide for better traffic flow and enhanced connectivity between Beaumont and Lufkin.

US 59/Diboll Relief Route: Crews are currently working to clear property for the new roadway located on the east side of Diboll. Current work includes logging operations and utility relocations. Work on the $140.9 million relief route began In April and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Sacyr Construction USA LLC, Miami, FL is serving as contractor for the project that will extend from FM 2108 to 1.15 miles south of White Oak Creek. The relief route will meet interstate design standards and serve as the primary evacuation route and will move vehicular traffic along the US 59 corridor.

US 59/SL 224: The US 59/SL 224 construction project began in 2019 and is progressing well with the construction of new main lanes to the east of current main lanes along US 59. Earthwork east of US 59 is in progress and the first seven spans of bridge deck on the northbound overpass has been completed. Crews are beginning the southbound overpass bridge decks this week. In coming weeks, both overpass bridge decks will be constructed up to the last span before crossing over existing US 59. Drill shaft foundations for bridges will be placed in multiple locations and will include drill shaft foundations for the overpass around Spradley Street. Utilities are being placed on the south end of the project with intermittent shoulder closures for utility work.

Longview Bridge and Road, Longview, TX is serving as contractor for the project that is scheduled to be completed in 2022. The work will include the construction of overpasses at Spradley Street, existing US 59 and Old Lufkin Road and construction of frontage roads for SL 224 between SH 7 and BU 59. The project was designed to meet interstate standards and extends from SH 7 West on SL 224 to 1.2 miles south of Spradley Street on US 59.

For more information, contact or call (936) 633-4395.

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