Significant interruptions to traffic flow will be unavoidable along a heavily-traveled stretch of Early Boulevard beginning in September, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Brownwood district office said.
“Traffic delays and congestion will be a daily occurrence in this project because of its location and the lack of convenient alternate route around construction,” Sandra Parker, public information officer for the Brownwood district, said Friday.
The project - which is expected to take one year to complete - is designed to rehabilitate the existing roadway from a stretch running from near Lucas Drive to C.C. Woodson Road. TxDOT officials are urging motorists who travel this highway on daily basis to plan ahead, consider one of the alternate routes even though they may seem out of their way, and to allow additional time to reach destinations.
Barricades are scheduled to be set up on the highway, which also U.S. 67 among others, on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
“Traffic will be reduced to two lanes very early in the project,” Parker said. “The contractor will begin construction on the south side of the roadway, and traffic will be moved to the north side of the road and restricted to one lane each for east- and westbound traffic. The center lane will be used for left turns at the intersections only.”
Curb and gutter, illumination, sidewalks meeting current ADA specifications and raised medians are included in the project. A signal bridge similar to ones on Commerce in Brownwood will be installed at the intersection of U.S. 67 and 183. A temporary signal will be in place during construction, which could lead to further delays because the timing can’t be changed.
Parker said some of the options available to motorists to avoid the busiest areas of Early Boulevard include the Old May Road, the old Comanche Road, as well as Parkway and Orchard, the streets behind Chicken Express and Heartland Funeral Home.
“All those streets are going to be much busier,” Parker said.
“Our message is, traffic will be reduced very quickly to two lanes, and because this is a bottleneck that all local traffic must use along with through-traffic, there is going to be traffic backing up every day. Hunting season is upon us, and school is starting.”
Lindsay Contractors Inc. of Waco was awarded the $4.2 million project.