TxDOT began widening the intersection in January and originally planned to be finished by July. TxDOT’s targeted completion date was pushed back to September and now the work may not be finished until December.
“The project to reconstruct the intersection of U.S. 59 and U.S. 183 in Goliad using a more durable concrete pavement is moving forward and it is expected to be completed later this year,” TxDOT spokesman Rickey Dailey said in an e-mail to the Advance-Guard.
Traffic accidents have risen in the one-block radius of the intersection. There were four reported major wrecks near the intersection during an 11-day span this month. On Thursday, a man was transported to a Victoria hospital after his Dodge Ram was broadsided by a Ford F350 pickup at the intersection of Pearl and Washington streets. The Dodge Ram was attempting to cross Pearl Street and flipped over upon impact.
Dailey said work crews have had to overcome issues with utility relocation and gas lines in the southeast corner of the project. He also said the method of tying down new concrete to the asphalt pavement was changed and required more time.
“This project is a top priority for TxDOT. The contractor has brought in additional resources from outside the area to address a lack of local labor because of the high level of oil and gas production,” Dailey said.
“As an example of the progress, two sections of the new concrete travel surface were poured recently and traffic is scheduled to move to the new surface this week. Work will then continue on other sections. New lanes will be opened to traffic as soon as they are completed.”
Dailey said the new pavement will be able to withstand heavier traffic and larger vehicles that frequent the intersection.
“The intersection is designed to be safer and require less maintenance due to the stronger, more durable concrete pavement,” Dailey said. “Large trucks will no longer have to swing into oncoming traffic to make turns because the improved intersection will have additional lanes and wider turning areas.”
The majority of the accidents in the area have come from motorists trying to take shortcuts to avoid the congested traffic.
“This intersection carries a high volume of vehicular and large truck traffic and TxDOT understands the project has inconvenienced motorists and local businesses,” Dailey said. “We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as this project continues moving forward as safely and expeditiously as possible.”