Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The airport handles mostly small private planes. Business travelers on personal airplanes use it on a fairly regular basis and it's the home for many small plane owners in the Golden Triangle.
Now, approximately $2.9 million worth of improvements are coming to the small airport through funding by TxDOT. Most of the money will go toward rebuilding the runways and aprons. The project is funded through TxDOT's Aviation Facilities Grant Program. The program is geared at improving small general aviation airports across the state.
Work is scheduled to begin this fall.
Monday, June 29, 2009
On July 2nd, TxDOT, the Dayton Chamber, and the Liberty-Dayton Chamber will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the new SH 146 project. The project involves widening the highway to five lanes from US 90 to FM 1413.
It's an important project for at least two reasons. First, it serves as a hurricane evacuation route. Second, the road has been the site for some serious wrecks.
The event takes place at 10 a.m. at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School on SH 146 just south of Dayton. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Resurfacing a highway may not seem like a big deal. However, FM 1409 is one of those highways that's drawn quite a bit of attention in recent years. The main concern was the so-called "Deadman's Curve" bridge. Currently, TxDOT is about to wrap up a project that realigns the road and builds a new bridge.
This new overlay project is just another improvement to redo roads in an area many people feel is often overlooked in favor of the big cities. However, Liberty County has seen quite a bit of work lately, especially in terms of safety bond money. Most of the work involves adding small shoulders to many farm-to-market roadways.
You can thank the TxDOT's Liberty Area Engineer Steve Gbur's team of David Maxedon and John Sudela. These guys have burnt many a night putting together plans and working out the fine details to improve roadways in Liberty and Chambers Counties.
As for the FM 1409 project, work includes removing the old road surface, making repairs to the base, and then resurfacing it.
And the good news is the contractor expects to be finished before the school year begins.
Friday, June 19, 2009
For years, TxDOT has been slowly winding down, or at least reducing, the amount of times the right-of-way is cut. The days of golf course style highway right-of-ways are gone. And the reason is very simple.
Each year, the Beaumont district spends large sums of money cutting along highways. Some years ago, the department cut back (pun intended) on its mowing cycles. Today, the number of cuts have been reduced to mostly two cuts a year on many highways. And if the state's transportation funding issues are solved soon, that number could drop even more.
Some may find these cutbacks unacceptable. However, consider this: the more times the grass is cut means a highway is not resurfaced. It's really that simple.
Until then, the department will continue to use its maintenance money in ways that make the most sense; where the rubber meets the road.
We'll post more on mowing later this summer.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
For years, SH 146 has been the site of fatal wrecks between the Chambers County line and the City of Dayton. Most of those wrecks are from drunk or reckless drivers.
While there isn't much TxDOT can do to stop drunks or careless drivers from getting behind the wheel, there is something the department is doing to at least try to make the highway a bit safer.
Beginning in early July, TxDOT will oversee a project designed to add extra lanes to about five miles of the highway between US 90 in Dayton and FM 1413. The project includes widening the highway to 5-lanes, including a left center-turn lane. The project has been one that Texas State Representative John Otto has been behind for quite some time.
Having a wider highway will pay off in another important way. SH 146 is an evacuation route. And any evacuation route that is widened is good news, especially for those who have been stuck in evacuation traffic.
Angel Brothers is the project contractor. Total cost of the project runs around $12 million and should be complete in about two years.
Meanwhile, TxDOT is completing the final steps needed to widen the rest of SH 146 from FM 1413 all the way to the county line. No word as to when that project will begin.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
With the Texas Coast in the beginning of hurricane season, here's something you'll find most useful. In fact, print it out and throw a copy into the glove compartment of each one of your vehicles.
The 2009 Hurricane Evacuation map shows all the listed hurricane evacuation routes for the Beaumont District. It also includes the Lufkin area's evacuation routes.
One thing you may notice: I-10 is not an evacuation route. Remember that especially if Houston ever has to evacuate. The last place you want to be is in the middle of a Houston evacuation.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Resurfacing a highway may not be big news in the scheme of things. However, for a city like the City of Jasper, a new road surface can play a major role in tourist dollars.
Beginning the end of the month, TxDOT will oversee a $3 million project to overlay US 96 through Jasper. The project begins just south of US 190 and will end about a half-mile north of FM 2800. Also, TxDOT is gearing up to overlay US 96 from the Sabine County Line south to RR 255.
Jasper is known for its connection to Lake Sam Rayburn and huge fishing tournaments. Thousands of people not only come to compete, they also come to watch to see who will bring in the big one for some big prizes. Anglers like to fish; not be stuck in the middle of a construction project. So how is all of this construction going to affect the community and tourists?
First, the project through town will include removing about two inches of the surface, making repairs to the roadbed, and then placing a "sealcoat" on the roadway. Sealcoat is basically oil with some rock. Afterwards, the contractor resurface the highway with two inches of nice, smooth asphalt. The sealcoat will help keep the asphalt in place.
Business owners may have some concerns as to how it will affect them. The good news is that it's about a four-month project. Also, the final overlaying will take place at night. Driveways will be kept open. People will have access. While there will be some lane closures, traffic should move fairly quickly. And once complete, Jasper will have a nice new highway. Nice highways mean people have great things to say about your community and are apt to return.
The project north of town on US 96 (shown above) will involve removing about two inches of asphalt and overlaying it with another two inches. This project will take about three months to complete.
Bear with us. We know it can be tough to have highway construction come through the heart of your city. But imagine what would happen if nothing is done.
And once finished, the new highway will be something the people of Jasper can be proud of.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Newton County is about to see $2 million worth of economic stimulus funding. Whether one is for or against the economic stimulus plan, at least a portion of it is coming to this economically disadvantaged county that could help save some lives.
Beginning next month, TxDOT will oversee a contract to make improvements to 25 state-maintained bridges across Newton County. The project involves installing railing on structures like the one on FM 363 crossing Big Cow Creek (shown above).
While there isn't enough money to completely replace these bridges, at least they are getting some safey upgrades.
Newton isn't the only county to see the economic stimulus bucks. Practically every county in the Beaumont District will receive some of the funding for improvements. We'll keep you updated as to when those projects begin.
Monday, June 8, 2009
It may not be the best quality of video, but it will give you an idea as to some of what took place on I-10 this weekend in Orange County.
W.W. Webber, the project contractor for one of the I-10 projects in Orange County, poured a new bridge deck for the Cow Bayou frontage road bridge. The pump truck is one of the largest ever used in the State of Texas.
Again, thanks to Clark Slacum for the video. Along that note, we are working to put together some project development videos for posting on the blog. Let us know if there is something you'd like for use to cover. We'll see what we can do. Email me at email@example.com.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
School is out, the beach is calling and those invitations to parties just don't seem to stop.
Before you hit the road with your friends this summer, make sure to check out the following link:
If this doesn't sober your thinking before getting behind the wheel after drinking, or even riding as a passenger in a car driven by someone who is drunk, then I'm not sure what will.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We won't even think about comparing Vidor's traffic congestion to the City of Houston's traffic woes. However, rush-hour through Vidor can be a bit hectic. Especially if you are one of those folks who, for years, have had to cross the KCS railroad tracks.
Well, that's just changed.
Today, the City of Vidor is sporting two new east and westbound crossings at the railroad tracks. This is big news for a couple of reasons.
First, it now means the City of Vidor has a continual, non-stop frontage road system. You can now stay on the frontage road, cross the railroad tracks, and continue all the way to Cow Bayou. Prior to this, you were forced to get off the frontage road and cross at Sergeant or Katy. And we won't even begin to describe what happened at those crossings when a large 18-wheeler tried to cross. Let's just say they kept the wrecker services in business.
Another big reason to celebrate the new crossings is that it opens up the area to new economic opportunities. Businesses usually don't build at the end of "dead-end" streets. This is essentially what you had at the old US 90 and Railroad Street turnarounds. Now, that's not the case. With traffic being able to flow continually on the frontage road, some smart entrepreneur can stake a claim and cash in on the improvements.
Traveling the area will take some getting used to, though. New stop signs have been installed at the frontage road intersections. Pay attention for those not used to the improvements. (And for those who think "stop" means "yield".)
The new crossings are part of the big project to improve all of I-10 between Church Street and the KCS Overpass. The entire project is scheduled to be complete by late summer of 2010. We'll post more information focusing on the project soon.
Monday, June 1, 2009
To take your mind of the beginning of hurricane season, here's an old photograph of another Southeast Texas highway.
There are a couple of clues which may help some of you spot the location immediately. If you think you know the answer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org