Budget cuts may affect some future projects for the Texas Department of Transportation, but the South Highway 6 construction sure isn't one of them.
In fact, TxDOT officials say the largest project in Bryan District history is between six months and a year ahead of schedule.
The $103 million expansion towards the Navasota River from FM 159 was originally slated to be completed in early 2011, though one year into the project, the contractor has made upwards of two years-worth of progress.
Frontage roads, overpasses, underpasses and medians are all a part of the project.
The changes are in response to growing traffic on Highway 6. With the growth has also come accidents in a section of road that features numerous hills and valleys and no medians.
After a string of fatal accidents in the fall of 2006, local leaders were able to get the speed limit reduced in that section of highway from 70 to 55. That limit should remain in place throughout the duration of the construction.
According to State Senator Steve Ogden at the time of that speed limit change, 30 fatal accidents had occurred on that section of Highway 6 in the last ten years, and an average of 90 total accidents each year in that time.
Upon the completion of frontage roads in sections of the highway that currently don't have them, all traffic will be diverted to those roads as the main highway is completed.
TxDOT was recently ordered by the Federal Highway Administration to return $290 million of their upcoming budget due to other national priorities needing funding, including military efforts in the Middle East. Officials in the Bryan District say all projects in progress will not be affected.
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