United States

I-20 to Shut Down for Days in East Texas

If you have long distance travel East on Interstate 20, there is a closure to plan around to avoid delays.

Crews will begin repairing a damaged bridge on Sunday that will force the closure of Interstate 20 in East Texas, possibly for several days.

The Farm-to-Market Road 849 bridge which spans across Interstate 20 in Smith County was struck by an 18-wheeler last month. The bridge has been closed since the incident.

Starting at Noon on Sunday, the existing bridge will be demolished and a new one will be built. This project will force the closure of both directions of Interstate 20 near the Hideaway community. The closure could last into Wednesday.

TxDOT is urging drivers to use alternate routes and avoid the extreme delays that are expected. The fire department in Van posted information on Facebook that suggested backups could stretch nearly ten miles in both directions.

“This is not a typical lane closure because we’re actually shutting down I-20 around the clock for three days and putting traffic on the ramps which could cause major delays,” said Kathi White, TxDOT-Tyler Public Information Officer. “Moving such a high volume of traffic to the ramps will cause lengthy delays. Traffic on all connecting roadways, such as Toll 49, will be impacted as well. Our best suggestion is to avoid I-20 if at all possible.”

One lane of traffic will be allowed on each access road, but that will be slow. An alternate route to avoid Interstate 20 include U.S. 80, which runs parallel to the interstate.

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