Rebuild of Highway 11 east may be in TxDoT's future
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
July 29, 2004 -- The Texas Department of Transportation Area Office in Sulphur Springs is preparing to put several contracts out to bid in the near future for State Highway 11 east, going toward Winnsboro.
TxDoT has been hoping for several years to get the funding to completely rebuild this highway, literally from the ground up, according to Ernest Teague, TxDoT Area Engineer.
"The old 'road-base' has been showing signs of slow deterioration for the last couple of years, but now our more immediate problem is the unraveling of the roadway surface," Teague said. "The surface problem is more of an aesthetic issue, though it does make for a slightly rougher ride.
"We don't want to pump a lot of money into resurfacing, knowing that a more thorough reconstruction is coming," Teague continued. "However, safety and ride quality are important to TxDoT."
Local TxDoT engineers met with the Paris District office in May to develop both short-range and long-range strategies for this route.
"We knew we couldn't get all the money we needed to completely reconstruct the route from Sulphur Springs to Winnsboro all in one project," said Teague. "So we developed a phased-construction strategy which I think will work well for us."
The highway department is now planning to temporarily restore the surface on more than half of this route, and at the same time prepare plans for a more complete reconstruction of the smaller segment, beginning at the Sulphur Springs end.
The first item of work will be the application of a "slurry seal," similar to the new surface applied to the highways through Sulphur Springs and to the west end of this section of Highway 11 last year. This project is due to go to contract in August, with work start-up anticipated beginning in September. The slurry seal will cover the driving path, without covering up the center and edge stripes. This type of resurfacing has the ability to correct the minor surface irregularities currently existing on the highway.
After this surface treatment "sets-up" during the winter months, TxDoT will include this same section of Highway 11 in next year's seal coat contract.
"This will help to seal out water, thus preventing further rapid deterioration of the road base until we can do a more complete reconstruction," Teague said. "The slurry and the subsequent seal will be applied beginning at the Wood County Line in Winnsboro, and will extend approximately to Martin Springs."
In the meantime, TxDoT has contracted with Goodwin-Lassiter, a Lufkin-based survey firm, to gather the necessary survey data for reconstructing the west end of the route. On the contract for this segment, TxDoT is planning to re-process the old road base and widen it.
The section from near Wal-Mart to just past the Rose Hill subdivision will likely have a curb-and-gutter and a continuous left turn lane and paved shoulders, according to Teague.
"This is about all we could squeeze into the existing right-of-way," Teague said. "After that point the terrain becomes a bit more hilly, making widening more difficult. The roadway will gradually taper back down to two lanes with paved shoulders, but all of the road base will be completely reconstructed and the highway will receive a new riding surface. TxDoT hopes to go to contract on the reconstruction of this section some time late next year. The remainder of the route will likely be rebuilt in 2 or 3 subsequent projects over the next 5 years or so."