Traffic quietly opened on the new overpass at the Carthage Loop and Texas 315 on Thursday, after years of construction.

The overpass project at Texas 315 began in 2016. The total cost of the bridge bid was $20.9 million, and East Texas Bridge Inc. of Longview built it. The project also included widening the highway to a four-lane divided highway between 315 and U.S. 59 from U.S. 79 to just south of Dixie Lake Road.

Crews were still out on Thursday with construction equipment.

The Carthage Police Department posted an advisory on Facebook late Thursday alerting drivers to the change in traffic patterns and saying they had received calls of cars traveling in the wrong direction.

“Our officers have been patrolling this area between taking calls to try and deter any potential accidents,” the department said.

“The rerouting over the past few years has made it ‘routine’ for most driving that area and the opening has caught many off guard. Most accidents happen because a driver does not pay attention to what is happening on the road. Any vehicle, immaterial of its size, can be the cause of an accident.

“Also remember that you cannot rely on your fellow drivers to follow the rules and keep you safe. So stay alert and ensure that you have plenty of room to maneuver your vehicle out of a potentially dangerous situation.”

CPD is encouraging motorists to follow posted signs and watch traffic signals. The new intersection is the same as the intersection at Texas 149 and the Loop.