Monday, August 6, 2012
Cleveland Loop Update
One of the hot topics in the City of Cleveland, TX is the long awaited "Cleveland Loop". The loop, winding its way around the southern portion of the city, is set to open to traffic in the very near future.
Stretching from SH 105 / SH 321 on the east side of the city, the loop connects to the west of Cleveland just west of Pin Oak Road. The loop was constructed in two phases for a total of more than $40 million. The first phase, stretching from SH 321 to FM 1010, was opened to local traffic last year. Workers then began the second phase which began at FM 1010 and traveled to SH 105 west of Cleveland.
Workers have just completed laying the final riding surface of asphalt. The material, known as Stone Matrix Asphalt, or SMA, is known for its strength and durability. This is very important as the loop will carry truck traffic and help reduce the heavy truck congestion in the downtown portion of the city.
Crews are now placing the final striping and signage. Afterwards, they will do some very minor work along the shoulders. Workers will also need to complete the striping on US 59 that accesses the loop.
Contrary to rumor, the loop is actually ahead of schedule. The contractor was given until February 2013 to complete the project. Last year's drought, and some changes to the construction phasing, allowed workers to move much more quickly in some of the most important work of the project. Since March, asphalt crews have been working to get the "recipe" for the final riding surface up to state standards. (SMA is very particular and the tolerances are not very forgiving.)
No date set for the opening of the new facility. However, with the final riding surface placed, striping nearly complete and signs going up, it should not be long before motorists have a new way to travel along one of Liberty County's heaviest traveled highways.