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Loop 463 overpasses open

By BY JESSICA SQUIRES - SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
April 15, 2013 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated April 14, 2013 at 11:15 p.m.

Traffic at the intersection of Navarro and 463 East in Victoria. The westbound main lanes of the loop have been opened today after being under construction as part of a project that has been ongoing for the last twenty months. (Jessica Squires)

Gaby Diaz has seen the dangers of Loop 463 firsthand.

"I don't really know what happened," she said. "When I turned around, it was already there."

Diaz said she turned to see a semi-trailer flipped over and a crushed Smart car.

"It was just horrible," said Diaz, a clerk at the Cimarron Junction convenience store at Navarro Street and Loop 463.

Now, with the opening of main lanes of Loop 463 from Navarro to Airline Road, Victoria residents can drive more smoothly.

After two years of work, the new overpasses over Salem Road, Mockingbird Lane and Airline Road will be open for traffic.

All frontage roads will remain open as normal except at the Salem Road intersections, where traffic will be required to stop to switch the lanes.

The traffic switch will begin at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, diverting the eastbound main lanes of U.S. 77 after the Briggs Road overpass to allow for the removal and installation of overhead signs.

The road will reopen by early afternoon, once signs are replaced.

There will also be lane closures on the frontage roads for the next four weeks for paving, said Mark Cross, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman.

"There will be some delay but no planned closures," he said.

Cross said keeping the lanes from impeding traffic will increase the safety of the area known for wrecks.

"Safety is our top priority," he said. "With this project, we're on the road for safety."

Torin Bales, owner of Torin Bales Fine Jewelry near Salem Road and the loop, said the opening of the loop will be great.

"It will increase access and provide more safety," he said.

Bales said the loop will not only help drivers now but also in the future.

"This is where growth is coming," he said. "It's in preparation for things to come."

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