Six miles of OSR closes


A six-mile section of OSR west of Normangee shut down Monday until late this year as the Texas Department of Transportation launched efforts to “rehabilitate the roadway.”

The closure began at 8 a.m. Monday and TxDOT estimates the highway reopening sometime in November, barring bad weather or unforeseen conditions that could extend the closure.

According to Bobby Colwell, communications director for TxDOT’s Bryan District, the enhanced OSR will include four-foot shoulders, a sealcoat topping on most of the road, and hot mix topping on high-traffic areas such as the turn-ins at Normangee.

“We are replacing and widening 5 bridges (which accounts for $2.946 Million) on OSR, at various locations we are removing 3 feet depth of existing subgrade and hauling in all new material, we are replacing driveway and cross culverts throughout the project, and upon completion of the 14.479 miles we are adding profiled edgelines from the Brazos County line to Midway,” Colwell said.

“I know a lot of people in the area are looking forward to this project.”

Over the course of the entire project, TxDOT will be closing five different sections of the roadway through July of 2020.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Transportation, drivers were diverted starting Monday to make a large detour on the OSR section just west of Normangee, from Spur 3 to FM 1452. The detour will stretch the drive to 11 miles.

“The OSR full closure will impact westbound and eastbound through traffic. Access for local property owners and permanent residences will be maintained at all times during the construction project,” the release from TxDOT said.

According to TxDOT, eastbound traffic on OSR will be rerouted from the road to FM 1452 to FM 39 before heading north back to OSR. Westbound traffic will take the reverse route, south on FM 39 to FM 1452. OSR will be open from FM 39 to Spur 3 and will have access to the public school from the highway.

TxDOT requests drivers reduce speed and maintain safe traveling distances between vehicles throughout the detour.

“To alert drivers to the lane closures and detours, changeable message signs will be placed near the westbound lanes of OSR beginning about a week before the closures. The speed limit is reduced to 65 m.p.h. throughout the limits of the project,” the agency said in the news release.

TxDOT said during the estimated two-year project, lane closure and relocation of traffic will take place at various times to accommodate construction activity. The $17 million dollar-project is contracted to Bismarck, N.D.-based Knife River Corp.

Knife River is a unit of MDU Resources Group, Inc., also of Bismarck.