Construction on SH 11 east enters second phase

From Staff Reports

Apr. 19, 2007 - Texas Department of Transportation’s work on State Highway 11 between Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro will enter its second phase next week between FM 1870 and Como-Pickton School.

Work on the first leg of construction on SH 11 from State Highway 154 to FM 1870 will also continue, with the project expected to wrap up this fall.

A.K. Gillis & Sons of Sulphur Springs was awarded the $4.2 million contract to smooth and widen the six-mile stretch of road and add turn lanes at FM 1870, FM 1567 and FM 69. The project is expected to be completed in either late spring or early summer of 2008.

By the end of the week, the contractor’s project signs will be erected. Then, crews will widen culverts on the south side of the highway, which “will not affect traffic much, since most of the work will be off to the side of the main travel way,” according to Brad Martin, TxDoT assistant area engineer.

After the culversts are widened, a thin layer of asphalt will be applied to “level-up” the shoulders on the south side of the highway so that traffic can be diverted to that side of the road to accommodate the next phase of construction on the other side of the highway. Travel lanes will then be reduced to 10 feet in width, which will mean all loads over 10 feet wide will be required to find alternate routes.

Travelers will get a respite as a one-mile stretch will be place between work areas. Martin explained that this will be achieved by breaking the project up into four separate work areas of approximately equal length. Construction will begin simultaneously in the second work area and the fourth work area. After several months, both areas will be complete, and work will begin in areas one and three.

�Using this strategy of construction will leave over a mile between work areas as a traffic buffer zone where motorists can have a break from driving on the 10-foot travel lanes within the actual work areas,�said Martin.

The road will be finished with a “nice, smooth coating of hot-mix asphalt” by summer 2008.

In the meantime, TxDoT is continuing to work on plans to reconstruct the rest of SH 11 to the Wood County Line, just inside the Winnsboro city limits. The remainder of the SH 11 east construction project is expected to be require two more contracts of similar size to the one A.K. Gillis & Sons will begin next week.

�The next section, which will be the third leg of the reconstruction effort, has a planned letting date of October 2007, and the final leg which will get us all the way to the Wood County Line is scheduled to let to contract in March 2009,� he said.

For more information, contact Brad Martin at 903-885-9514.

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