REGIONAL NEWS

EZ Rider to Receive New Buses

October 31, 2020

Road Project Begins in Odessa, Multiple Roads to be Closed for Work

October 5, 2020

PSP: Infrastructure Investment Needed to Fulfill Permian’s Promise

October 6, 2020

Project to Expand Portion of I-20 Given Green Light

October 21, 2020

Midland City and County Officials Celebrate Reopening of Cotton Flat Road

October 22, 2020

 

TXDOT PROJECT UPDATES

APRIL 6, 2021

MIDLAND – A project to rehabilitate approximately six miles of Business Interstate 20 and to add traffic signals at the intersection with East Loop 250 is scheduled to start in mid-April. The project stretches from Interstate 20 to Fairgrounds Road in Midland County.

Lane closures will be necessary in all phases.

While work on the traffic signals won’t start until this summer, the project will begin the week of April 12, 2021. The rehabilitation work is scheduled to begin the week of April 26, 2021. Paving work will begin near I-20 on the outside westbound lane and progress toward Fairgrounds Road. Then the outside eastbound lane will be done from Fairgrounds Road to I-20. The same process will be repeated for the inside lanes.

A final course of asphalt will be placed in late summer.

The traffic signals will take several months to install once work on them begins later this year.

Traffic alerts will be issued from time to time during the project. Follow @TxDOTOdessa on Twitter to get these updates, or subscribe to all TxDOT updates by emailing gene.powell@txdot.gov.

Motorists are asked to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zones. Motorists are asked to slow down in work zones. Rear-end collisions are at the top of all crash causes in work zones. Motorists are reminded that driving distracted in work zones is a dangerous activity. Slow-moving construction equipment may enter a lane inadvertently, so being on high alert is work zones helps all motorists and construction workers stay safe.

The project is scheduled to take about a year to be completed.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving won the project with a low bid of a little more than $11.1 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

MARCH 16, 2021

ODESSA – A project to build nearly 13 miles of high-tension cable barrier between Odessa and Midland is scheduled to start the week of March 22.

The cable barrier will be placed in the median between the main lanes of Highway 191. The project begins at East Loop 338 in Odessa and ends about a half mile from Loop 250 in Midland.

The work will start near East Loop 338 and be done in two-mile segments. Lane closures are possible at different stages of the project, but an effort will be made to minimize impact to the traveling public. Lane closures cannot begin before 8 a.m. and cannot extend past 5 p.m. according to the plans. Unforeseen circumstances may make isolated exceptions necessary.

There will be times when large commercial vehicles, especially cement trucks, enter and leave the roadway near the work zone. Motorists are asked to use extreme caution in the work zone.

Traffic changes will be announced on the Odessa District Twitter feed at @TxDOTOdessa. Media will also be alerted to traffic changes ahead of the actual switch.

The speed limit will be reduced to 65 mph on Highway 191 through the construction zone. A heavy law enforcement presence may in use at times to improve safety.

The project is scheduled to take about seven months and should be completed in Fall 2021.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes.

Mijelum LLC of Alpine, Texas, won the project with a low bid of a little more than $2.05 million. The project is being funded through a federal safety grant.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

JANUARY 27, 2021


STANTON – An ongoing project will cause major traffic disruptions at Highway 137 over the next several days in Stanton.

Starting around 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, the contractor will begin rehabilitating the two southbound lanes of Highway 137 that go under the Interstate 20 overpass. The work will also be going on at the two I-20 service road intersections with Highway 137.

Once the southbound lanes are complete, work will shift to the northbound lanes and the corresponding intersections of the service roads and Highway 137.

Rehabilitation work should be done late Saturday. Striping is scheduled on Monday.

Major detours will be in place for the duration of the rehabilitation work. Highway 137 will be limited to through traffic and will not be able to access the service roads. Also, both I-20 ramps used to access Highway 137 will be closed for safety reasons. Eastbound traffic will use the Business Interstate 20 exit on the east side of Stanton and double back into town. Westbound traffic will use BI-20 exit on east side of Stanton to access Highway 137. Traffic originating in town that needs to go west on I-20 will take Highway 137 north and then go west on FM 3113 and south on FM 829 to get to I-20.

Theses detours won’t affect through traffic on I-20.

This work is part of a larger project to replace an I-20 overpass on the west side of Stanton. The overpass will take I-20 over the local road, in this case BI-20. This is a different, more modern design than the original layout of the interchange. Replacing the overpass became necessary after several oversized loads struck and damaged the original structure, making it unsafe for use. By taking the interstate over the local road, the threat of bridge strikes will be greatly reduced.

In addition to the new overpass configuration, new ramps and connections will be built. Also, the frontage roads will be rehabilitated between the overpass location and Highway 137 in Stanton. The BI-20 connection will also be reconstructed to accommodate the new design.

Traffic signals have also been installed on the service roads at Highway 137. The signals still need to be connected to power and a few other small details completed before being put in use. TxDOT is working to expedite the use of traffic signals, but no firm timeline has been completed.

The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2022.

FNF Construction of Tempe, Ariz., won the project with a low bid of approximately $30.6 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

JANUARY 26, 2021
 

ODESSA – A project to build an overpass taking East Loop 338 over East Yukon Road in northeast Odessa is scheduled to begin in February, although some activity is already happening in the area.

The current activity is being done in preparation for the TxDOT project. The city is moving water and sewer line, and several companies are moving various utilities.

The first phase of the TxDOT project will build ramps that will take traffic off the loop and tie in to Yukon Road at the new intersections. The intersections are scheduled to have four-way stops until signals can be installed. While there aren’t continuous service roads in the area for the loop, these ramps and intersection will serve the purpose of service roads at the intersections on each side of the eventual overpass. This phase will take several months to complete.

After the new intersections are completed, work will focus on building overpass embankments and the overpass itself. With the ramps and intersections in place, the impact to traffic will be minimal until Yukon Road is temporarily closed for bridge beam placements and bridge pours. That is more than a year away.

Traffic changes will be announced on the Odessa District Twitter feed at @TxDOTOdessa. Media will also be alerted to traffic changes ahead of the actual switch.

The speed limit will be reduced to 65 mph on Loop 338 through the construction zone. A heavy law enforcement presence may be in use at times to improve safety.

At some stages, a width restriction will be put in place in the work zone.

The overpass project is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2023.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes.

Ragle Construction Inc. of Euless, Texas, won the project with a low bid of a little more than $15.7 million.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

DECEMBER 4, 2020

REEVES COUNTY – An online presentation has been posted to www.txdot.gov to discuss Interstate 20 from 0.3 miles west of County Road 419 (Shaw Road) to 1.5 miles east of County Road 117 (Collie Road) near Pecos in Reeves County.

The proposed improvements to this section of I-20 would include reconstructing main lanes and frontage roads, reconfiguring some interchanges, building one new interchange with a grade separation, reconfiguring ramps, and converting frontage roads to one-way operation.

Although additional right of way would be required, no residential or non-residential structures are anticipated to be displaced at this time. Information concerning services and benefits available to affected property owners and information about the tentative schedule for right-of-way acquisition and construction can be obtained from the TxDOT Odessa District Office by calling (432) 498-4645.

No construction funding has been identified for the project at this time. This stage is to gather information and begin planning improvements. Likewise, no construction timeline has been established.

To view the presentation, go to www.txdot.gov and search keywords “Reeves County” and open the search result for the Virtual Public Meeting. After the presentation is uploaded on Dec. 3, clicking on the photograph will guide viewers through the virtual public meeting room where they can watch the presentation, crash analysis, view typical sections and environmental constraints data and get information on how to comment. The same information is listed lower on the webpage in the Downloads section.

TxDOT will be taking comments on the project through Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Formal comments may be provided by mail or email as explained on the webpage. The webpage also provides links to exhibits, environmental constraint maps, and other general information.

 

Responses to comments received will be available online at www.txdot.gov, using the keyword search above, once they have been prepared.

 

If you have any general questions or concerns regarding the proposed project or the virtual public meeting, please contact Advanced

Planning Engineer Gabriel Ramirez, P.E., at gabriel.ramirez@txdot.gov or call him at (432) 498-4645.

 

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

NOVEMBER 16, 2020

ODESSA – A project to install traffic signals at U.S. Highway 385 and 87th Street in north Odessa is scheduled to begin this month (Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020). U.S. 385 is also referred to locally as Andrews Highway.

In addition to the traffic signals, significant left turn lane improvements on Highway 385 will be built in a way that is unique in the Odessa District. The left turn lanes will be slightly offset from each other and governed by their own signal heads. A concrete median will separate the turn lanes from main lane traffic.

New triangular concrete medians will also change how the Highway 385 service roads connect with 87th Street. Service road traffic will be forced to turn right at 87th Street, regardless of the direction of traffic. This is being done to improve safety by reducing conflict points in the intersection and improving efficiency of the signals. The right turns will be governed by a yield condition. Service road traffic will not be allowed to cross 87th Street. The new arrangement may force a small percentage of motorists to alter their commuting patterns.

The medians will also be raised to improve drainage at the intersection and allow water to flow under the road through culverts.

The configuration of 87th Street will also change. Once the project is completed, 87th Street will have a through lane, a dedicated right turn lane and a dedicated left turn lane in each direction. Concrete medians will separate eastbound and westbound traffic.

The speed limit will be reduced to 50 miles per hour in the work zone. A width restriction of 11 feet will be in place in the work zone.

The project is expected to take about 14 months to complete.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and flaggers in the work zone. Safety is a top priority for TxDOT. We need help from the traveling public to ensure the work zone is kept safe and free of crashes. Large, slow-moving vehicles may inadvertently enter a lane of travel. Slowing down and giving extra space between vehicles is key to a safe working environment.

Reece Albert Inc. of San Angelo and Midland won the project with a low bid of a little less than $2.94 million. This is more expensive than just installing traffic signals because of the amount of road work and drainage work involved in the project.

For more information, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

TXDOT NEWS RELEASES

FEBRUARY 9, 2021

ODESSA ­– TxDOT crews across the 12-county Odessa District have been preparing for the upcoming winter weather that carries extremely low temperatures and the possibility of precipitation. Crews began treating roads with brine water on Tuesday and will continue to do so on Wednesday.

Since rain is possible, some of the brine used to pretreat the roads may be washed away. Drivers should drive as if nothing has been pretreated. Any moisture present of the road could freeze. It is impossible to prevent ice, especially toward the end of a multi-day event.

Not every road on the state system will be pretreated. Likewise, cities and counties don’t have the resources to treat all of their roads. Motorists should avoid travel if necessary and use extreme cuation if traveling is necessary.

If conditions warrant it, crews will move to shift work to address problem areas overnight. Another round of treatment is possible if it is determined to be a proper way to address the changing conditions. If you encounter a vehicle spreading material on the road, please give the crews room to work in the interest of safety.

The National Weather Service is predicting extremely low temperatures across the district, but precipitation amounts won’t be uniform. Ever motorist must assess the local conditions. Driving conditions across the state can be found at www.drivetexas.org.

It is important to remember that there may be patches of ice on the road as areas drop below freezing, even on roads that are pretreated.

Motorists should extend commute times if they must travel. Here are some basic driving tips for winter weather:

>> Clear all snow and ice from windows to ensure proper visibility before driving.

>> Slow down. Speed limits are meant for optimal driving conditions. Smart winter driving requires driving to existing conditions.

>> Allow more room to stop. It is always possible that hitting ice will lengthen stopping distances.

>> Allow more room between you and other vehicles.

>> Do not use cruise control.

>> If you start to skid, take your foot off the gas and steer where you want to go.

>> Never slam on the brakes. Always use brakes gradually (again this lengthens stopping distances).

>> Make sure your vehicle is maintained properly.

>> Remember that bridges often ice over faster than other roads and that shady spots take longer to thaw.

Safe winter driving tips are part of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

AUSTIN – By now most Texans have seen the informative — and often clever —  messages above Texas highways on digital message boards that encourage safer driving.

Well now it’s your time to shine. TxDOT is launching a statewide Digital Highway Sign Contest to find the best and most creative safe-driving message that is related to impaired driving (drunk or drugged driving,) distracted driving (texting while driving,) not wearing seatbelts and/or speeding – the deadliest mistakes drivers make on Texas roadways.

Since the majority of crashes are preventable, TxDOT uses these creative messages, which often are related to current events and pop culture, as part of an effort to encourage drivers to improve their behavior behind the wheel.

Texas drivers will be able to submit their entries through Dec. 8 and there is no limit to the number of entries a contestant can submit. The top 10 entries will be posted on social media and voted on by the public. A “like” or “share” equals one point. The top three winners will see their message in bright lights over highways across the state.

The contest, which runs simultaneously with #EndTheStreakTX, is another way in which the agency is trying to get more drivers educated about the state’s steady death rate and committed to improving their driving habits.

Please visit TxDOT.gov to submit an entry and use the following guidelines when creating your message:

  • The message must bring awareness to the dangers of common driver mistakes such as distracted driving, impaired driving, not using seat belts, speeding, etc. We also will accept other rules of the road, such as “no tailgating” and “left lane for passing only.”

  • #Hashtags, phone numbers and website addresses are not allowed. No offensive language.

  • Signs accommodate 2 slides, each with 3 lines and up to 15 characters per line. Feel free to use both slides (6 lines) or just one slide (3 lines).

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (430) 498-4746.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

AUSTIN – Don’t mess with Texas is launching a contest as big as the Lone Star State to find its new anti-litter theme song. The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” invites Texans to compose an original song to compete for prizes provided by iHeart Media, Guitar Center and the School of Rock. Two winners will be selected in two different categories with each winning valuable prizes.

“The contest is an exciting way for Texans to add their voice to Don’t mess with Texas,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Don’t mess with Texas campaign. “We are seeking fresh and unique songs, written by Texans, to creatively communicate the importance of keeping our state clean and litter-free.”   

The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” is open to Texas residents, ages 13 and above. Contest rules and entry criteria can be found at Dontmesswithtexas.org. Contestants should submit their completely original song, up to 30 seconds long, by video, incorporating the Don’t mess with Texas tagline and an anti-littering message. To be eligible, entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Don’t mess with Texas will choose one winner in the Best Original Song category, who will receive a home recording studio donated by Guitar Center. The second winner will be chosen from a band or musician currently enrolled at the School of Rock for their best original song and accompanying essay. This winner will receive a School of Rock Scholarship donated by iHeart Media. The Don’t mess with Texas “Lone Star Song Search” winners will also join the ranks of other notable performers featured in the Don’t mess with Texas campaign throughout the years including Willie Nelson, George Strait, The Randy Rogers Band and Las Fenix.

Don’t mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The program includes a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, annual “Trash-Off” community outreach events and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700. 

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

TxDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign reminds drivers and passengers about the  importance of wearing seat belts

Nov. 18, 2020
 

AUSTIN – With health and safety a top priority for millions of Texans, TxDOT reminds motorists of one of the simplest and easiest precautions everyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones: buckling up

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. For those in pickups, seat belts reduce the risk of dying by 60% since pickups are more likely to roll over than passenger vehicles

.

“Our annual Click It or Ticket campaign is about saving lives,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “While almost 91% of Texans have gotten into the habit of using seat belts, there are still far too many motorists who are taking unnecessary chances by not buckling up. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, wearing a seat belt—day and night—is the single most effective way to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a crash.”

TxDOT officials report that in 2019 there were 925 traffic fatalities involving an unbuckled driver or passenger, a 6% drop over the previous year. The 12-county Odessa District had 53 fatalities and 89 serious injuries involving an unbuckled driver or passenger. Of those fatalities, four were in the city of Odessa and six were in the city of Midland.

Although around 9% of Texans do not wear a seat belt, the lack of seat belt usage was reported in 42% of traffic fatalities for those people who had the option to use a seat belt (excluding pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle fatalities).

In addition, a 2019 Texas A&M Transportation Institute survey noted that drivers and passengers in 18 Texas cities buckle up less at night (between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.) than during the day. In Texas last year, of crashes in which an unbuckled driver or passenger was killed, 59% happened during nighttime hours (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.). Seat belt use among pickup drivers and passengers also continues to lag behind that of other motorists. Almost 46% of the 499 pickup drivers killed in crashes last year weren’t buckled up.

From November 16 to November 29, as we approach and celebrate Thanksgiving and more drivers take to the road, state troopers, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies statewide will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws. Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Click It or Ticket initiative in Texas is estimated to have saved more than 6,234 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries, and resulted in $23.6 billion in economic savings since the campaign began in 2002.

The Click It or Ticket campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of July 20, 2020.

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail and public transportation across the state.

Connecting You with Texas

NOVEMBER 3, 2020

AUSTIN — The sound of baseball and the smell of barbecue fills a North Austin neighborhood. It’s the start of a new summer and 14-year-old Alexei Bauereis is walking his friend home through a crosswalk.

Filled with the excitement only a new summer can bring, Alexei likely didn’t see the car speeding toward the crosswalk. The 19-year-old driver didn’t see Alexei either, because he was changing the music on his phone.

Alexei died instantly, along with his dream of becoming a world class ballet dancer.

“It’s a terrible tragedy not just for the person involved and not even just their family, but a much broader community,” said his father, Eric Bauereis.

This November 7, Texas marks 20 years of daily deaths on our roadways with more than 70,000 innocent lives like Alexei’s lost to preventable fatal crashes. Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan, a champion for road safety and TxDOT’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign, believes ending this streak is attainable, but will require every Texan’s commitment.

 

“Last year, 20 Texas counties actually had zero deaths on their roadways – that tells me we can end the streak of daily deaths in Texas,” Ryan said. “This is why in 2019 the Texas Transportation Commission adopted a new goal of having zero deaths on our roadways by 2050, and to cut the number of fatalities in half by 2035. We will do our part; and we need drivers to do theirs.”

An average of 10 people die every day in crashes in the state.

“The effort to end the streak of daily deaths in Texas is a shared responsibility and we are committed to including safety enhancements in every project we build or maintain,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “It’s going to take education, engineering and enforcement to get this done, and that’s why this call to action to every Texan is so imperative.”

What we’re asking is simple: when you get behind the wheel buckle up; pay attention and avoid all distractions like phones; never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs; watch your speed, and always drive to the conditions around you.

Because #EndTheStreakTX is a social media, grassroots and word-of-mouth effort, Texans are being asked to do any or all the following to raise awareness:   

  • Post pictures on social media with this downloadable sign displaying the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX

  • Use one of our social media profile filters

  • Join the #TexasTag10 challenge on social media and tag ten family members or friends and encourage them to say what they will do differently to avoid a fatal crash on our roads.

 

Earlier this year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic levels on Texas highways dropped nearly 44 percent in some parts of the state. This decrease in traffic encouraged TxDOT to think the horrific streak might finally come to an end. Instead, the death rate was unchanged, even with fewer drivers on Texas roads.

“We can and we must do better,” said Ryan.   

For media inquiries, contact Odessa PIO Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or (432) 498-4746.

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432-617-0129

9601 Wright Dr. Ste 1
Midland, Texas 79711

info@permianbasinmpo.com

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