Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Big changes are coming to Interstate 10 that could impact motorists starting this Friday.
The Texas Department of Transportation has announced work crews will begin “reconfiguring” lanes on the Neches River Bridge starting at 9 p.m., Friday, March 1. Crews will restripe the westbound lanes from three lanes to two lanes of traffic and will need to reduce westbound traffic down to one lane during this process. Work is expected to be completed on Saturday evening.
On Monday, March 4, work crews will begin a project which is estimated to take three weeks-to-one month as concrete barriers are installed and eastbound traffic is shifted onto the westbound side of the bridge.
According to information from Marc Shepherd, TxDOT public information officer, the westbound side of the Neches River Bridge will carry two lanes of eastbound traffic and two lanes of westbound traffic. The shift is officially expected to take place in late-March.
The reason for the shift is to begin construction of a new bridge in the “old eastbound lanes.” The crews will essentially work on two lanes of the original six lane bridge at a given time, then shift traffic to another part of the bridge to work on the next two lane section.
Motorists are advised to plan accordingly and allow extra travel time as delays are expected. The westbound entrance ramp at the foot of the Neches River Bridge will be closed to prevent excessive congestion at the base of the bridge.
This weekend’s work is part of the $59 million project to construct a new segmental bridge across the Neches River. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2015.