TxDOT Representative, Kevin Harbuck, listens to suggestions from locals from the area near the Livingston/Goodrich Truckstop.
TXDOT Holds Public Forum to Discuss Improvements for Livingston/Goodrich Truckstop, GOODRICH, November 27, 2012 - Representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation held a public forum to discuss safety improvements for the Livingston/Goodrich truckstop that has, for a long time been a hot topic in Polk County. The meeting took place at Chesswood Baptist Church which is at the north end of the controversial stretch of US-59. The meeting was headed up by TxDOT Representative, Kevin Harbuck. Harbuck explained to the locals that the current and very preliminary plan is to remove all the crossovers (there's a total of seven) and place a commercial truck crossover at the north end, and one at the south end of the nearly half mile stretch. Many of the accidents that have occurred (some fatal) have occurred when 18 wheelers leave the truck stop. The large trucks pull out of the truck stop parking lot straight across the north-bound lanes of traffic into a crossover and wait for the south-bound lanes to clear in order to pull into the south-bound lanes. The problem is, the trailer is blocking the north-bound lanes of traffic while the driver waits for a chance to pull into the south-bound lanes of traffic. This has been one of the main causes of major accidents in this area. Harbuck pointed out that, at this point, everything is very preliminary, and that TxDOT funding is very limited at this time. Harbuck fielded questions from the audience and listened to suggestions from attendees. Other suggestions included adding caution lights and reducing the speed to 55 miles per hour. TxDOT will be conducting a speed study possibly as early as December and study the volumes of traffic flowing through the area during routine traffic periods as a first step in ultimately making the stretch of 59 safer.
Pastor Howard Daniel (standing) assisted TxDOT at the meeting. Daniel urged attendees and the general public to put their ideas and suggestions in writing so that they can be submitted to TxDOT. Daniel's church (Chesswood Baptist) will be receiving the suggestions to give to TxDOT.
Business Owner, Jack Abdallah (center) looks at arial photos of the stretch of US-59. Abdallah is the owner of Lone Star Charlie's Restaurant and has observed traffic accidents right in front of his restaurant which is next door to the truckstop.
If you look closely, you can see the idea behind a commercial truck turn around. TxDOT is suggesting removing all of the current crossovers and placing a turnaround at the north end of the stretch, and a turn around at the south end.
if you would like to comment on this story, we'd love to hear from you. Be sure to specify which story. Your name will be posted with your comment in Letters to the Editor.