Photo: A new overhead sign directs travelers to Nacogdoches and Stephen F. Austin State University. (Photo: Bruce R. Partain, Nacogdoches County Chamber)
NACOGDOCHES - The Texas Department of Transportation recently installed new signage on US Hwy 259 just north of Nacogdoches, directing travelers into the city and to Stephen F. Austin State University.
The improved signage specifically added a large overhead sign for southbound travelers on 259 approaching US Hwy 59. One sign directs travelers to the right to continue to Lufkin and other points south on US 59. The other directs motorists straight ahead to Business 59 into Nacogdoches.
"A group from the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber, the City, SFA and the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau got together about three years ago to study traffic signage approaching Nacogdoches," said Bruce Partain, President/CEO of the Nacogdoches County Chamber.
"Bill King with NEDCO identified this particular location as confusing, due to large signs identifying east and west exits to US 59, but only a very small, lower sign pointing to Nacogdoches," Partain said. "There was also nothing specifically identifying a route to SFA."
King, Partain, City Main Street Manager Sarah O'Brien, CVB Executive Director Melissa Sanford and SFA's Mark Barringer visited with TxDOT area engineer Michael Lee and TxDOT Lufkin District Director of Transportation Operations.
After brainstorming possibilities, Bickley and Lee designed the new sign by eliminating one of two overhead signs directing travelers to the east. The overhead sign to Garrison on US 59 east remains located just before the exit. Funding for the signage improvements was accomplished through TXDOT maintenance.
"Locally, we replace signs nearly everyday,” Lee said. “However, signs of this size are very expensive and could use up our entire sign budget for the year. Fortunately, we were able to secure additional funding from the Lufkin District to complete this project."
More improvements are under consideration.
"We are still discussing possible signage on 59 South that will direct travelers to downtown Nacogdoches via State Hwy 21," Partain said. "That exit is now marked only with a Douglass notation. Our goal is to make it easy for travelers to enter the city safely and with the best information possible."