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TxDOT seeking input for $500 million I-10 expansion project

KBMT-TV Beaumont-Port Arthur, logo KBMT-TV Beaumont-Port Arthur, 4/10/2019 Tyler Seggerman

The drive along  I-10 through Beaumont is expected to look different in the next few years.

TxDOT plans to spend roughly $500 million to improve the five-mile stretch of interstate, including two interchanges (Eastex Freeway and Cardinal Drive).

The project is the largest TxDOT-Beaumont will have put together in terms of money.

While the five-year project could begin as early as 2021, nothing has been finalized.

TxDOT is asking for input from the public to help figure out the best way to get the project done.

"Everything that we'll be showing is preliminary," says TxDOT public information officer Sarah Dupre. "That's why we're really asking for a lot of public feedback at this point, since nothing is final yet."

Some motorists say the renovation is long overdue.  

"It's a good thing, they've been needing to for a long time," says Steve Cogbill, who drives into Beaumont from Louisiana. "It gets bottle-necked up real bad, especially after quitting time and then on the way to work in the mornings."

Perhaps the two biggest features within the project, will be improving the Eastex Freeway and Cardinal Drive interchanges that connect I-10 to Orange Mid-County respectively.

Dupre tells 12News that the congestion of traffic taking place at both locations is unsafe and troublesome for drivers.

It's one of the reasons for this massive project.

"Whenever I here that, I always think of safety," says Beaumont resident Jose Bonilla. "It's of the upmost importance and I definitely think that it would be a benefit to anybody that lives in the area or anyone that passes by on the way to or from work." 

Other details within the I-10 project expansion project include widening parts of the interstate to six lanes as well as improving exits and ramps.

Of course, with such a big project there is always a concern for construction.

Bonilla says "I guess the one thing I would preach for anybody having to endure that is just to have more patience than they normally would, knowing it is going to pay off in the end." 

"Hopefully the city planners will take that into consideration and try to keep the traffic flowing while they are doing the construction," says Cogbill. "That would be a big concern."

More than 700 people have already taken the online survey for the project.

It's available for everyone to share their input and will stay open until May 1.

Within it, you can rate your preferences on the different options being considered and select which exits you use the most in case some are relocated.

An open house meeting will take place on April 16, for anyone wanting to know more or ask questions.

There will be no formal presentation, people can come and go as they please.

The event begins at 5 p.m. inside the Beaumont Civic Center.


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