Guard railings will be upgraded this coming year along three Northeast Texas highways according to plans approved in October by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

“We will be replacing and upgrading the bridge railing and guard rails along US 82 in Bowie County, FM 125 in Cass County and FM 250 in Cass and Morris Counties,” said Paul Wong, Area Engineer for the TxDOT office in Texarkana.

East Texas Bridge of Longview was awarded the contract for the construction project with a bid of $1.4 million.

Work on the project should begin in January of next year and take about nine months to complete, Wong said.

In addition, about 150 miles of Northeast Texas highways will receive new surfaces during the summer of 2020 with a contract awarded in October by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The Texas Transportation Commission approved a bid of $7.3 million from Missouri Petroleum Products Company of Mountain View, MO to seal coat highways in eight counties located within the Atlanta District.

"Seal coating a highway involves placing a layer of hot asphalt over the old pavement and then covering it with crushed stone," said Mike Anderson, District Engineer in Atlanta.  "This is a relatively inexpensive process that makes the roadway surface watertight, improves skid resistance and preserves the pavement structure."

In an effort to help keep used tires off Texas landscapes, the district is requiring the asphalt used to be mixed with "crumb rubber" made from grinding up old tires.

"Using crumb rubber in our asphalt has proved to be an excellent process for seal coating our highways.  The rock is less likely to pull loose, there are fewer occurrences of the asphalt bleeding through the rock and it can be used on a wider variety of surfaces," Anderson said.