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Another nice day in store. Mostly sunny skies lead to slightly warmer temps this afternoon. Another front arriving Thursday evening will spell cooler temperatures through the weekend. We'll also add a chance at seeing some rain by the weekend.
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Road, bridge, and traffic updates in Southeast Texas
UPDATE Saturday, Jan. 25: SH73 in Port Arthur is now open .
The MLK Bridge to Pleasure Island is now open.
Beaumont Police Department
All highways in Beaumont have been reopened, which include IH 10, Eastex Freeway, Cardinal Drive, and MLK Parkway. The Purple Heart/Neches River Bridge remains open as well. Traffic is moving slow, but steadily.
The NWS update predicts no precipitation, low temps in the 20s, and hazardous conditions continuing until 9 AM due to refreezing ground water. TxDoT and City crews will maintain sanding maintenance operations to the highway through the night with hopes of keeping them passable
Cardinal Drive in Beaumont has reopened, but the Major Drive and Brooks Road overpasses along IH-10 are now closed, according to TxDOT.
The Cow Bayou Bridge in Bridge City and the SH 347 overpass in Mauriceville are both open, according to TxDOT.
All of IH-10 in Beaumont is now open. US 69 up to Cardinal Drive is open. Cardinal Drive in Beaumont is still closed at this time, according to TxDOT.
Beaumont Police Department
At this time IH-10 is flowing, slowly, both eastbound and westbound through Beaumont. Eastex Freeway has just been opened both northbound and southbound from IH 10 and the north city limits, and is also flowing slowly. Crews are currently working on the overpasses on Cardinal Drive.
IH-10 westbound in Beaumont from MLK to Washington are now open, according to TxDOT.
The Intercoastal Bridge in High Island has been reopened and Rainbow Bridge is still closed, according to TxDOT.
Beaumont Police Department
The Purple Heart Bridge/Neches River bridge is back open with hope it will stay passable; however, highways in Beaumont remain heavily iced and only service roads are passable. So traffic may not start moving very quickly. TxDOT is assisting with signage and the media is asked to encourage the public to use alternative routes through Beaumont if possible. Meanwhile crews are working to keep the service roads passable and get traffic moving.
The latest NWS reports indicate the probability of near or below freezing temperatures throughout the day. Even though precipitation is expected to cease in the next hour, cloud cover and lack of drying ability make it likely that icy conditions will continue. Both Jefferson County and the City of Beaumont have publicly announced official offices will be closed the rest of the day and will reopen Monday morning.
I-10 is still closed intermittently throughout the city limits of Beaumont. Detour routes to the south through Port Arthur are unavailable, according to the Beaumont Police Department's Facebook page. Only north detours are available.
Alternate east bound routes are as follows:
If you're coming eastbound from Houston, you can exit at Major Drive, take it to Hwy 105 to Eastex Freeway, take Eastex Freeway north through Lumberton to Hwy 96 toward Evadale, then take Hwy 105 in Evadale back to I-10 East in Vidor.
Another alternate route if you're coming from Houston is to take the College Street exit and take College Street east to M.L.K.. Then take M.L.K. north to E. Lucas. Take E. Lucas west to the Eastex Freeway, then take that through to Lumberton onto Evadale, then take Hwy 105 in Evadale to I-10 East in Vidor.
Alternate west bound routes are as follows:
If you're coming into Beaumont westbound from Orange County, take the Hwy 105 exit in Vidor and take it to Evadale, then take Hwy 96 south through Lumberton to Hwy 105 in Beaumont. Take Hwy 105 in Beaumont west to Major Dr, then take Major south to I-10 westbound.
Traffic on the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge (formerly called the Neches River Bridge) is flowing intermittently is congested, according to the Beaumont Police Department's Facebook page.
They state that continued freezing temperatures and precipitation may result in closures throughout the day.
TxDOT is continuing their de-icing procedures and Interstate 10 throughout the city of Beaumont is still being diverted onto the service roads.
UPDATE 10:45 a.m.:
The Neches River bridge on IH-10 has been closed intermittently over the last several hours. As the bridge is sanded, occasionally traffic has been able to move over the bridge. Additionally, IH-10 throughout Beaumont is closed due to heavy ice conditions. All highway traffic in Beaumont has been diverted to service roads. Detour routes to the south through Port Arthur are unavailable. Only north detours are available as alternatives.
An alternative route will be provided for Eastbound IH-10 traffic using Major to 105 Eastex, then north through Lumberton and Evadale and Buna, to Highway 105 and back to IH-10. Another eastbound alternative is College east to MLK then north to E. Lucas, then west to Eastex Freeway, and north through Lumberton.
An alternative route for westbound IH-10 traffic leaving Orange is to use Highway 105 in Vidor then to Evadale and north on 96 through Lumberton to Highway 105 then west to Major, then south to IH-10.
UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: All lanes of the Neches River Bridge has been closed due to ice.
UPDATE 9:03 a.m.:
Beaumont Traffic Alert from TxDOT: Due to excessive ice, IH-10 East and Westbound is closed from MLK to Washington Blvd. Traffic is being detoured to the frontage roads. Crews will try to keep at least one West and Eastbound lane of the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge (Neches River) open. Driving is still discouraged at this time. Please use caution when passing TxDOT crews spreading de-icing material.
SOUTHEAST TEXAS - According to the Texas Department of Transportation, road and bridge closures in Port Arthur include the Rainbow Bridge and Veterans Memorial Bridge, the Intracoastal Bridge, MLK Bridge to Pleasure Island, the Causeway Bridge from Louisiana, U.S. 69 north and southbound lanes. Service roads will be open.
Update from Beaumont: The Eastex Freeway, southbound only, has been diverted to the service road due to heavy icing and multiple wrecks. Cardinal Drive traffic in the Beaumont city limits is being diverted to the service road. Beaumont City and TxDOT responders are working to keep limited lanes open on Interstate 10. Motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously and be attentive to traffic control officers and devices.
Sgt. Chuck Havard with the Texas Department of Public Safety tells KFDM News if drivers have to travel on major highways they should use the service roads because icy conditions are making driving treacherous, especially on overpasses, and first responders may have to close some of the highways.
The Purple Heart Memorial Bridge over the Neches River between Rose City and Beaumont remains open as of 5 a.m. Friday.