Whenever heavy rains have moved through the southern portions of Angelina County, one of the first places to have water over the roadway was FM 2497, also known as the Diboll Cutoff.  More specifically, the bridges and adjacent roadways near Pine Valley Raceway and Ryan Chapel would be the first to be closed down.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation decided to address the issue with an extensive razing and reconstruction project that began in September 2021. The project on FM 2497 involves the demolition and rebuilding of the bridges and approaches at Cedar Creek and Cedar Creek Relief which has led to the closure of that road until the competition of the project.  FM 2497 is a well-traveled road that is used by many as a shortcut between Diboll and Hudson, so many motorists and area residents are hoping that the project will wrap up sometime soon.

According to Rhonda Oaks, Public Information Officer for TxDOT (Lufkin District), the project on FM 2497 has been a little tricky. When the road was first closed, the forecasted completion date was March 2022. However, contractors are running behind due to inclement weather through the winter months as well as a good deal of rain in the spring months.  This has added some complications to a very extensive and difficult project.

Officials with TxDOT now expect the Diboll cut-off road and bridge reconstruction to be complete by the end of May 2022.  That's not much longer, just another 6-7 weeks and hopefully motorists will get the all-clear to travel FM 2497 again.

A.L. Helmcamp Inc., Buffalo TX, is serving as contractor for the $5.2 million construction project that includes safety upgrades and extended length and elevation of both bridges. This project is expected to alleviate the flooding that is often seen in this low-lying area of the county.

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