Work to begin next week on State Highway 11 east revamp
From Staff Reports

Aug. 6, 2006 -- Look for work to start next week on the first leg of the reconstruction of State Highway 11 between Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro, according to Ernest Teague, area engineer for Texas Department of Transportation.

On Monday, the contractor's standard project signs are scheduled to be erected.

The first element of actual construction will be to widen bridges and culverts and should not affect traffic much, because most of the work will be off to the side of the road. 

Next, a thin layer of asphalt will be applied to level up the shoulders on the south side of the highway so that traffic lanes can be pushed to that side, allowing road construction on the north side.

Teague said it would most likely be mid-September or later before traffic will be detoured. At that time, travel lanes will be narrowed to 10 feet wide.

At that time, road construction will begin at the west end of the highway, from the entrance to Wal-Mart to near Mockingbird Lane. This section will be widened to include two lanes of traffic in each direction, a center left-turn lane, and wide shoulders, according to Teague. From there it will become one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane and wide shoulders, to east of the Rose Hill addition.

Most of this segment of the project has been designed to include curb-and-gutter and underground storm drain pipes.

From Mockingbird Lane east, the road will be widened by a few feet and reconstructed to have a new, smoother riding surface. Left-turn lanes will also be constructed at FM 2560 in Martin Springs, where a flashing beacon was recently installed by TxDoT.

Several months after beginning the construction at the west end, the contractor will also begin work at the east end, near FM 1870. This will leave over a mile between the two segments as a traffic "buffer zone." 

"Ten-foot lane widths is a bit narrow to ask motorists to drive for much more than a mile on a high volume roadway like this," Teague said. "We tried to provide for a break to allow for motorists to relax just a bit before entering another restricted area." 

Work on the middle section of the project will be started last, probably after the western section is nearly complete. 

The contractor, D.L. Lennon Inc. of Commerce, projects completion in late 2007. At that time, this section of roadway should have a smooth coating of hot-mix asphalt.

In the meantime, TxDoT is working on plans for the next section to the east, extending from FM 1870 to the Como-Pickton school area. That section will tie in to the segment that TxDoT has widened in front of the school.

Eventually, TxDoT intends to completely rework State Highway 11 all the way to the Wood County Line, just inside the Winnsboro city limits. According to Teague, this will likely take two more segments of contract work.

"Our local goal is to have all that done within about 5 years, but much of that depends on the availability of funding for this type of work."

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