Local roadways get a bit of TLC

by Cristin Parker news@mediactr.com

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began numerous construction and maintenance work projects throughout the district on Monday, Jan. 7.

Crews on Monday began a $2.7 million restoration project on U.S. Highway 84, from U.S. Hwy. 69 to 0.46 miles east of State Highway 110 in Rusk.

Madden Contracting Company, LLC is handling the placement of roadway underdrain and repave the roadway lane through town.

“Motorists are reminded to expect daily lane closures,” TxDOT’s website states. “Schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones. Expect the unexpected. Delays from highway construction can be frustrating, but it only takes a few extra minutes to slow down for a work zone.

“Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone in order to reach your destination on time.”

Drivers traveling though this and other work zones in Cherokee County are reminded the state’s Move Over law requires motorists to move out of the lane closest to the TxDOT vehicle when possible or reduce speed to 20 miles per hour below the posted limit.

“If the road does not offer multiple lanes, the driver must slow down,” the department’s website states. “On roadways with posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less, drivers must reduce their speed to 5 miles per hour. Violators can be fined up to $2,000.”

Anticipated completion date for the project is summer 2019. The city of Rusk Utility Department assisted in the project in October by lowering a water line running across the roadway from Well #2.

“Based on their drawings, our line was positioned too high – their drainage would have clipped it,” City Manager Jim Dunaway said. “We worked with them to remove that issue.”

TxDOT crews were also scheduled to start pavement operations this week, weather permitting, on a $8.2 million project that would widen U.S. Hwy. 79, from the Neches River to 1.2 miles northeast of FM 747.

“Expect daily lane closures and delays with a pilot car providing traffic control,” TxDOT’s website states. “The work zone speed limit is 60 mph.”

Drewery Construction Co., Inc. is widening the roadway to add passing lanes. Anticipated completion date on the project is Spring 2020.

Also on Monday, Jacksonville and Rusk maintenance crews began addressing ditch maintenance on SH 110 between Farm-to-Market roads 1089 and 2750; on FM 347 between Loop 456, in Jacksonville; and on FM 2972 in Rusk.

Expect lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control at both locations.

Other projects in Cherokee County that resumed on Monday include:

- Long line striping operations to upgrade roadway pavement markings around Rusk and Alto. Daytime work locations include SH 21 W; U.S. Hwy. 84 E from U.S. Hwy. 259 to SH 204; and U.S. Hwy. 79 from SH 110 to SH 42.

- The widening of U.S. Hwy. 69 through Wells, from 2 miles north of FM 1247 in Wells, south to 0.9 miles south of FM 1247. The $17.6 million project is the highway through Wells from two lanes to four lanes with new curb and gutter and a continuous two-way left turn lane through town. The new southbound lanes are now carrying two-way traffic. The contractor, Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd., plans to continue pavement removal on the east side of the roadway. There are minimal im