Two Texas Department of Transportation construction projects are under way in Wood County as the calendar flips to 2014.

West of Quitman, TxDOT contractor D.L. Lennon, Inc., of Commerce, is in the home stretch of a shoulder-widening project on SH 154 between Quitman and Lake Fork. The $5.8 million project let in October 2012 and began in March, and is scheduled for completion this summer.

The $2.5 million project to widen the bridge on SH 154 just west of Quitman began in October 2012 was completed this fall.

“SH 154 is one of the older roads in the state,” said TxDOT spokesman Larry Krantz. “As such, it was relatively narrow. We’ve been working the past several years to identify funding for projects that would not only add shoulders to the roadway, but widen the bridge as well. It feels good to be moving those projects forward.”

Elsewhere, TxDOT contractor Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd., of Longview, is at work on a $2.6 million project to add passing lanes between Loop 564 in Mineola and FM 779 in Golden. The project let to contract in June, began in September, and is scheduled for completion this summer.

“These projects to add passing lanes across the district have been highly successful in getting traffic moving again for pennies on the dollar,” said TxDOT spokesman Larry Krantz. “We’ve been able to add these passing lanes without having to purchase additional rights of way, which can spiral project costs out of control. Instead, we’ve maximized our available right of way footprint to allow traffic to adjust itself in a safer manner than crossing into oncoming traffic. This should cut down on fatal and other serious types of crashes in these areas.”

Finally, TxDOT’s preventative maintenance program known as District-Wide Seal Coat is scheduled to seal several roadways in Wood County this summer including:

  • US 80 – Between FM 778 in Crow and Loop 564 in Mineola
  • FM 514 – Between the Rains County Line and FM 17
  • FM 17 – Between SH 154 in Yantis and FM 515 at Lake Fork