Road work begins on major ETX highway - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Road work begins on major ETX highway

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Crews begin construction on a major East Texas highway Monday, which could mean daily delays for drivers during their morning commute.

It’s a $3.5 million project that will eventually add three new passing zones on portions of Highway 31 just east of Tyler, with the goal of making commutes safer for drivers.

The work will take place through Summer 2015 on a 6.4 mile stretch of Highway 31, between FM 850 and FM 757 in Smith County.

While the project was already planned, it begins just 10 days after a nine-year-old child died as a result of a rollover collision on that highway. That crash was caused by the driver attempting to pass another car using the shoulder. Five of six passengers were ejected from the car and only the two adults were wearing seatbelts.

Back in March, five people were sent to the hospital after a four-car pileup inside the six mile stretch now being worked on. That occurred when a driver did not realize cars ahead had stopped for another car making a left turn off the highway onto a county road.

TxDOT crews advise drivers looking to avoid the road altogether to take FM 2767/Old Kilgore Highway, which runs parallel and just north of Highway 31.

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