BEAUMONT, Texas – When you hit the traffic on Interstate 10 in Chambers County, thank you for the hurricanes. There is currently none in the Gulf of Mexico, but the crews of the Texan Ministry of Public Security are already preparing.
You don’t want to experience the same problems as we did during Harvey and Imelda. If you remember, I-10 was flooded, making both routes impassable for drivers desperate to get out of the area.
TxDOT details their plans for the coming installments to help some Southeast Texans who say the memories of the stuck still haunt them.
TxDOT is working with Ragle Construction to install new flood-prone median strips along I-10 in the Chambers and Orange districts. Construction of the new median began last night at 14 different locations in Chambers County. On Wednesday, crews were working from Oak Island Road to FM 1406.
RELATED: Expect Delays. Crews will install a new median on I-10 in Chambers County install from Wednesday
60 inches of rain fell from Harvey and 44 inches during Imelda. The water was rising so fast it got people trapped in their cars on I-10.
“We have a pretty long driveway a few feet so we had to wade through water to get out,” Jared LaCombe told Chambers County.
LaCombe and his wife were living near I-10 and FM 1406 when Imelda met and was rescued from their home after rainwater flooded the area
“We lost our car and her family was down. They lost their cars so we lost three vehicles in total, ”said LaCombe
Concrete barriers are known to protect motorists on highways, but they do the opposite during major flood events when the barriers act as dams.
“It was something that stakeholders approached several times out of caution as a proactive measure for any type of future extreme flood event,” TxDOT representative Sarah Dupre told 12News.
Because of this, TxDOT came up with a new design, a way of allowing the water to escape and hopefully not rise so quickly.
“Well, this is still a concrete barrier, but it has a rectangular section that was cut out to allow water to flow through,” Dupre said.
Because of the horrors LaCombe and his wife faced during Imelda, he is still skeptical of the new barriers that will be installed.
“I’m glad you took a step forward. They’re hard to trust, but we’ll see how things go, ”said LaCombe.
The $ 2.8 million project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2021.
Construction in Orange County will begin in the coming months.