Drivers on U.S. 59 near South Loop 224 will need to slow down beginning Tuesday as the work zone speed limit drops to 45 mph and crews install a concrete barrier wall as part of a massive intersection reconfiguration.

“The concrete barrier will protect motorists from the edge drop-off as well as workers in the area,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information office for the Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Lane closings are expected while the wall is placed near the Spradley Street intersection. Once the barrier is in place, traffic on U.S. 59 will proceed as normal, Oaks said, but the reduced speed limit will remain at 45 mph from CR 524 to Spradley Street.

During placement, detours will be in place for Spradley Street traffic.

Part of the Interstate 69 corridor, the $86.1 million project broke ground in fall 2019 and is expected to be open to traffic in 2023, with new main lanes that will directly connect traffic onto Loop 224 near state Hwy. 7, overpasses at Spradley Street and Old Lufkin Road and frontage roads between state Hwy. 7 and Business 59.

Plans call for I-69 to stretch more than 2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada, with an estimated 900 miles traversing Texas.

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