Expanding highways: Construction continues to shift Old Military traffic

BROWNSVILLE — After making progress for the past year, an Old Military Highway road construction project could be completed in the next five months.

The expansion of Highway 281 is expected to help improve traffic flow in the area.

The Texas Department of Transportation has been working on expanding the five-mile project from a two-lane road into four lanes.

Also, TxDOT is converting Interstate 69 from Brownsville to Corpus Christi from a two-lane to a three-lane road. That $22.7 million reconstruction project started in July 2017 and is anticipated to be completed in 2020.

The state agency uses an average daily traffic measure to gauge traffic on Texas roads. Highway 281 has a daily traffic average of 5,782 vehicles.

A traffic switch is scheduled for Highway 281 and Alton Gloor Boulevard on Jan. 8, according to transportation officials.

“The traffic switch will start (on FM 3248) and will end at the transition,” TxDOT public information officer Octavio Saenz said. “The end of the transition will be approximately 150 (linear feet) before the second driveway entrance to Brownsville Veterans (Early College High School.)”

Saenz said that after “utility conflicts” are moved out of the way, road construction contractors will need three weeks to complete irrigation work.

Saenz said the 281 expansion is still on schedule and expected to be completed in May.

“Once that work is complete, Foremost Paving Inc. will quickly move in and complete all road construction as quickly as possible,” Saenz said. “When we get to the point where they begin their construction, we can project a better time as to when work for phase two can be 100 percent complete and traffic can be completely moved over.”

TxDOT also has been working on a new right turn lane for Veterans Early College High School.

Highway 281

Expanding five miles from two lanes to four in Brownsville

Daily traffic average of 5,782 vehicles

Interstate 69

Expanding from two lanes to three,

Brownsville to Corpus Christi

$22.7 million project expected to

be completed in 2020