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Ramp reversal project begins Sunday - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Ramp reversal project begins Sunday

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BEAUMONT -

A ramp reversal project is set to begin Sunday along Eastex Freeway in Beaumont. The two-year project will extend from the Interstate 10 and US-69 north interchange to SH-105 is meant to reduce the traffic and congestion to and from the north side of town.

The $27 million project includes plans to widen overpasses and reverse some on-and-off ramps.

Business owners on Eastex heading south, support the project. Dicky razor owns Ammco Total Car Care, he said he bought his property in 2001 because of the project plans.

"We've been looking forward to this since we purchased the property so we're excited," he said. "Our customers have been very patient the last 11 years but I'm sure they will be very happy to see this happen."

Southbound traffic from Eastex will exit onto the service road, and traffic entering the highway will get on further south.

Another major change will be the closure of the on-ramp south of Delaware, where drivers cut across traffic lanes to reach the IH-10 East overpass. Since the on-ramp will be moved south, drivers will not be able to jump lanes.

A major change for the northbound side includes closing the Delaware on-ramp and the entry onto Eastex from 11th street.

Losing that ramp has upset some business owners along 11th street. Melinda Ardoin, who owns A Rose and Bridal Gallery, said when there's traffic on US-69, drivers detour to the street in front of her shop.

"They're stopped there and they see our sign, but that won't happen anymore," she said. "It makes me a little concerned, traffic flow here volume wise has been good for us"@

Also on the northbound side, a new interchange from IH-10 to the Eastex service road will be built, and a new service road underneath the 11th street overpass will become the Lucas Drive exit

TxDot spokesperson Sarah Dupre said the project is necessary and the area has waited long enough for the changes

"It will relieve some congestion, help people get where they're going faster and safer and make the driving experience a lot better," she said.

Another major change that will affect drivers is the speed limit in construction zones, which will go from 65 mph to 55 mph, but that won't be enforced until the signs go up.

Dupre said all construction will take place between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The first closure on Sunday night will be in the northbound right hand lane along Eastex Freeway.

Construction will start this weekend but will be mostly preparation, drivers won't see actual ramp work until February.

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