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  • Amy Mehaffey, Communications/Main Street Director

Growing Pains, Not so Painful. Thank you, TxDOT and Nacogdoches Street Department!


Are you frustrated by road construction and subsequent delays? Maybe Austin Street quickly comes to mind? And we won’t talk about Starr Street and the bridge.

I certainly am like-minded when I think about trying to get somewhere and running into road construction and do not like delays in my ability to get from A to B.

This is completely different than if you are on vacation or passing through a larger city where construction is a fleeting inconvenience. When we encounter road construction on the interstates, it is expected, but these delays are a one-time occurrence and lessened by the excitement of heading on vacation or the necessity of trying to get to a one-time destination.

However, when construction is in our backyard - such as the upcoming “flyover” on south US 59, and the Austin Street expansion, we either alter our daily routes or we are caught in a lengthy delay time and time again.

In that same vein, in three to five years the I-69 Corridor to Houston will begin to drive like an interstate (even though it will not have the official I-69 designation yet) simply because the construction will provide relief routes around Diboll and Corrigan, significantly shortening the travel time to Houston.

PC: KTRE https://www.ktre.com/2019/01/07/construction-gets-underway-nacogdoches-million-east-austin-street-project/

Additionally, the City of Nacogdoches has already begun work on seeking allocations for improvements to the US 259 interchange north of the City and to begin construction of the interstate on the South Loop which will help generate economic development as well as I-69 construction projects from the Angelina River Bridge north to US 259. All of these roadways are maintained by the Lufkin District Office of TxDOT and we thank them for all of their service for our community.

Furthermore, many don’t recognize the other state highways which pass through Nacogdoches. This includes Business 59 (South/North Street); FM 1878 (Starr Street); State Highway 21 (Main Street); Loop 224 (Stallings Drive); and State Highway 7 (Fredonia Street). The US 59 South Street direct connect is scheduled to be under construction this year with completion in three years.

It is with confidence and pride I can say our Lufkin District Office is responsive, easy to communicate with, and utilizes best practices almost 100% of the time.

For example, the group was very responsive to local requests to keep the intersection of Raguet and Austin Street open until after the school year (what’s one more week in an already weather-delayed project?).

These types of accommodations are tangible as are the obvious investment the State of Texas has made on the roadways that run through our rural community.

The same thank you goes to our City of Nacogdoches Street Department. Housed within Public Works, this group of 16 employees is able to accomplish first-class construction projects, whether new or rehabilitation.

PC: Aryauna Barnes, SFASU Student

Your Street Department has been operating for years with limited resources. However, the street maintenance fee adopted last year has already allowed us to make progress on deferred maintenance by utilizing rich data to fix the streets in most need of repair due to the fact that this fee increases the annualized streets budget from $500,000 to upwards of $1,100,000.

A final thank you is in order for our Mayor and City Council, who have steadfastly supported the I-69 project and recognize the importance of transportation and advocacy of infrastructure for our future economic growth.

Nevertheless, I will still play expert when the occasion presents itself because sometimes, we just can’t help it--especially me.

But let’s all remember that growing pains are part of life, especially in a small town.

About The Author

Amy Mehaffey began her work with the City of Nacogdoches in July 2015. Prior to this, she worked as a 4-H Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. In this role she did marketing and promotion for the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program and served as the event coordinator for Texas 4-H Roundup, the agency’s largest event. Amy in May 2015 with her PhD in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in youth development. During the pursuit of this degree she also received a certificate in Prevention Science and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Previously, she completed a Master’s of Science in Agricultural Communications at Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s of Science in the same field at Texas Tech University. Amy is also a freelance photographer and enjoys Texas A&M football in the fall. She is married to John Michael Mehaffey who is a professor of Animal Science at Stephen F. Austin State University. They are proud parents to Hattie Mae Mehaffey, born September 1, 2016 and Hunter Leigh Mehaffey born July 2018.


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