TXDOT Warns Drivers of Detour At Hwy. 158 Overpass 3/19/13
CBS 7 News
March 19, 2013
ECTOR COUNTY-Drivers have been going around the Hwy. 158 overpass at Hwy. 385 for almost a year.
Now TXDOT is planning a one-week detour beginning Monday to make repairs, and it could be dangerous-- especially for big-rigs.
Until now drivers had to cross four lanes of 75 mile-an-hour traffic to avoid the overpass.
"It’s inconvenient and it’s dangerous,” said Odessa Driver Johnathan Lambrano. “Because instead of being able to take the overpass out to Goldsmith, you have to come down the service-road and cross four lanes of traffic."
TXDOT says the truck that hit the overpass caused so much damage that design work delayed the $324,390 project until now.
"We're aware that it was an issue, but it's a long process," said Gene Powell, of Odessa TXDOT. “And you’re talking about coming up with $324,000 out of a budget that’s set—it just takes awhile.”
Starting Monday and lasting all week, the southbound lanes of 385 will close, detouring all traffic around the overpass on 158.
One of the main concerns TXDOT has is how difficult it will be to make the detour. Powell says 18-wheelers will have a hard time making the turn.
"It's almost a U-Turn, it's a sharp turn, please drive very slowly, we ask that they exercise extreme caution in the area,” said Powell. “If possible, 18-wheelers should avoid it all together."
TXDOT says the overpass is one of 19 bridges in the last year on county roads hit by a vehicle--a big jump from the one or two that got hit the year before.
There are two other bridges with a lane or shoulder closed – Hwy. 191 at Faudree Road and another on Loop 250 over I-20.
Powell says both of those fixes are in the design phase.
You can see a video explaining the detour on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CBS7News or click this link.