Accidents Force Changes on Highway 6

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Major changes are on the way to Highway 6 in south Brazos County.

Following a meeting Thursday morning, local leaders determined the speed limit should be lowered from 70 to 55 miles per hour in the portion of the highway between FM 159 and the Navasota River, an area under heavy construction.

State Senator Steve Ogden's office organized a second meeting in the last two weeks, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. TxDOT, the Department of Public Safety, the construction project contractor and law enforcement from the county were a part of Thursday's closed door meeting.

To enforce the speed limit changes, continuous law enforcement will be patrolling the area, according to TxDOT's press release. Speed trailers will be on both sides of the road showing motorists if they are exceeding the speed limit.

In addition to the speed changes, blue and white driveway signs will be temporarily added to all driveways in that stretch of highway. Also, contractor T.J. Lambrecht Construction will add five major entrance and exit ramps for them and their suppliers to use.

Message boards will also be along the road to warn motorists of the condition of traffic in the area.

"All the above agencies remind motorists to obey all speed limits, construction zone signs, and be aware of turning, stopping, and heavy traffic in this area," said Bob Colwell in the TxDOT press release.

The changes come following a slew of accidents in south Brazos County. On September 15, four people -- including three local teens -- were killed in a wreck that slowed traffic for hours. It happened a mile north of FM 2154 on Highway 6.

Just days after that chaos, officials met to discuss possible changes. At the time, they determined a second meeting was necessary, but officials said there would likely be added signage, including the message boards.

Eight days after the fatal accident and a few miles up the road, another accident caused the closure of portions of the highway for about three hours. Seven people were injured in that accident, but no lives were lost.

The construction project is scheduled to be completed in 2011, and at $104 million, is the largest project in the history of the Bryan District of TxDOT.