Public officials and citizens were given the opportunity Thursday to see a preview of the plans to widen Interstate 10 in Orange by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). A workshop conducted by TxDOT was held in the West Orange-Stark Elementary School.
Maps, diagrams, and charts were displayed on tables and easels for those interested in the widening of the interstate from Adams Bayou to the Sabine River. TxDOT spokesperson Sarah Dupre said the workshop is just the first step to informing the public and receiving input for the project. Dupre added, “We have people answering questions, we probably will have a public hearing later on in the future.”
Officials from the City of Orange and the City of Pinehurst attended the workshop and asked questions to the representatives of TxDOT. The Commissioners Court and other county employees inspected the plans that were on exhibit.
Johnny Trahan who is the County Commissioner for Precinct One where most of the I-10 project is located believes it will be a positive step for the county in a couple of areas. He pointed out the improved flow of traffic that will occur with the additional lanes on the freeway.
Another area Trahan has been active in solving is the flooding of Adams Bayou at the turnarounds of the interstate. One option TxDOT is looking at that the commissioner favors is removing the frontage road bridges and putting auxiliary lanes adjacent to the elevated interstate for the service lanes. “These open houses are important so everybody can come out and voice their opinion,” Trahan said.
The actual construction for the widening of Interstate 10 is forecast by TxDOT to begin in June 2020. Construction is estimated to take 42 to 48 months to complete the project.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-