REGIONAL NEWS

 

TxDOT Launches Game to Combat Distracted Driving

August 8, 2020

PSP: Infrastructure Investment Needed to Fulfill Permian’s Promise

October 6, 2020

$25 Million Grant Provided for I-20 Improvements Near Midland in Permian Basin

September 11, 2020

I-20 Getting 6 Lanes From 2025-30

September 11, 2020

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

October 5, 2020

 

TXDOT UPDATES

OCTOBER 11, 2020

ECTOR COUNTY: Traffic patterns are switching on US 385 at north Loop 338. All US 385 traffic will share what were southbound lanes as northbound will be closed. Also, outside lanes of Loop 338 will be closed. Please use detour safely. Please slow down. Condition will be in place into November.

 

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

OCTOBER 9, 2020

AUSTIN ­– Fatalities from crashes involving pedestrians are on the rise in Texas and now account for nearly one in five of all of the state’s traffic deaths. Last year, 668 people died in pedestrian-related crashes in Texas, up by 5 percent from 2018, and more than 1,300 were seriously injured. Crashes involving bicyclists in 2019 also claimed the lives of 68 people and seriously injured 313. These numbers follow an alarming trend that has seen pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increase over the last five years.

Safety officials attribute a primary cause of the increase to people’s widespread failure to follow state laws designed to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. To that end, TxDOT is kicking off a new public awareness campaign this month that urges all Texans to drive smart, walk smart and bike smart .

“Whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot, or riding a bicycle, we’re reminding Texans to make traffic safety their number one concern when they’re out and about,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of looking after ourselves and others in our communities, and we’re asking the public to apply that same responsibility to safely sharing the road and obeying traffic laws.”

Almost half of all pedestrians and cyclists who died last year on Texas streets and highways were between the ages of 21 and 49. Most were living in urban areas, and the majority — 73 percent of the pedestrians and 90 percent of the cyclists — were male.

No matter how Texans choose to travel, TxDOT wants them to know and follow state laws for safe driving, walking and biking. Drivers should take specific steps to protect pedestrians and bicyclists who are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. State laws mandate stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, yielding the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists when turning, and passing cyclists at a safe distance and giving them room to ride.

Pedestrians should cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks, obey all traffic and crosswalk signals, and always use sidewalks when available. If there isn’t a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the street or road, facing oncoming traffic.

Like drivers, bicyclists are required to obey all traffic signs and signals, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. State laws also dictate that those who ride bicycles must use hand signals when turning or stopping, ride with traffic, use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb, and when riding at night, make sure their bikes have a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.

More than 3,000 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred last year in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, resulting in 287 fatalities. These cities also saw more than 1,100 bicycle crashes that resulted in 30 deaths and 113 serious injuries.

In the 12-county Odessa District in 2019, there were 84 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 12 fatalities and 26 serious injuries. There were also 12 traffic crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in one fatality and one serious injury in 2019 in the district.

In the cities of Odessa and Midland in 2019, there were 59 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in six fatalities and 18 serious injuries. From 2015–2019, pedestrian fatalities in Odessa and Midland increased 100 percent and serious injuries increased 33 percent despite the overall number of crashes involving pedestrians dropping 14 percent.

While there were no fatalities or serious injuries in bicycle crashes in 2019 in the cities of Odessa and Midland, there have been seven bicycling fatalities since 2015 in the two counties.

“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” and TxDOT’s pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative are key components 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) 498-4948.

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 May 8, 2020.

OCTOBER 5, 2020

ECTOR COUNTY: Crews will be working nights for next six weeks removing brick pavers on US 385 between Second and Eighth in downtown Odessa. Also doing pacing work in area at night in same time frame. Please obey warning signs and slow down.

 

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

OCTOBER 2, 2020

ODESSA – Work on Highway 385 throughout Odessa is scheduled to start a new phase the week of Oct. 5, 2020. (Reminder that Highway 385 has two other local names: Andrews Highway and Grant Avenue.)

Night work will start between Eighth Street and Second Street. The first stages will consist of removing brick pavers at crosswalks and filling the area in with temporary material. All crosswalks will be removed along and adjacent to Highway 385 (Grant Avenue). After the pavers are removed, the area will be paved, also at night. This should take less than six weeks to complete.

Meanwhile, work continues at the intersection of Highway 385 (Andrews Highway) and Highway 191 (42nd Street). As work proceeds, traffic patterns will change in the intersection. One such change is planned in mid-October. The concrete work should be completed before the Thanksgiving holiday. Similar work is also ongoing at the intersection of Yukon Road and Highway 385 (Andrews Highway).

After the concrete work at the two intersections is completed, Highway 385 between Highway 191 and Yukon will be resurfaced. A firm timeline for that has not been established.

Initial paving work on Highway 385 (South Grant) from East Pearl Street to Interstate 20 has been completed.

A final surface will be done in Spring 2021 along the entire project.   

Some traffic signal upgrades will also occur in the corridor. This work should not have major impacts on motorists. There may be brief periods when lights are in all-flashing mode or if all-way stops are employed for short durations.

Night work is used at times to reduce the impact the project has on local traffic. Working at night might also reduce exposure to heavy traffic flows that are common during the day, thereby reducing risks for work crews.

It is important to remember that concrete sometimes needs time to cure, so it may seem like a project is dormant during those times.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in place throughout the corridor.

Since both directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. Slower speeds are also advised.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2021.

Reece Albert Inc. of Midland and San Angelo won the project with a low bid of a little less than $11.7 million.

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

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

ECTOR COUNTY: The outside southbound lane of East Loop 338 on the overpass spanning BI-20 will be closed today and will remain closed for the next several weeks. A bridge joint needs repair. Ramp access and traffic flow will be maintained. Repair plans and work orders are being prepared.

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

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

ECTOR COUNTY: Night work will be going on for next few weeks on US 385 at both Highway 191 intersection (concrete pour) and between BI-20 and I-20 (resurfacing). Please avoid area if possible overnight. If you are in area, please slow down and obey all warning signs and flaggers you encounter.

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

SEPTEMBER 4, 2020

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS® CALLS ON ICONIC TEXAS VOICES TO STOP PPE LITTER

Matthew McConaughey, Eva Longoria, George Strait and more, urge Texans to clean up their act.

AUSTIN – With a growing number of discarded face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes found littering roadways and parking lots, Don’t mess with Texas called on the help of some celebrity friends to remind fellow Texans that the only safe way to dispose of used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in a trash can.

Oscar winner and Minister of Culture/M.O.C. Matthew McConaughey and country music legend George Strait are lending their voices to new video public service announcements (PSAs) that urge Texans to clean up their act, including proper disposal of used PPE. The PSAs will air on TV networks, cable channels and digital platforms starting this week. Other Texas celebrities joining McConaughey and Strait in raising awareness about the issue are Mark CubanEva LongoriaMarsai MartinAlly Brooke and Brittany Broski. Each are using their social media channels to share a personal video message reminding followers that Don’t mess with Texas means don’t litter.    

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing a significant uptick in the amount of PPE litter. Not only is it unsightly, it is also harmful to the environment and a danger to public health,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Don’t mess with Texas campaign. “When you’re done with your masks, gloves and wipes, do the right thing and dispose of them properly. This simple action helps keep Texas clean and safe.”

To promote pride in keeping Texas litter-free, Don’t mess with Texas cloth face masks are now available for purchase at TexasHighways.com in the Mercantile shop. The masks are washable and reusable, and include a pocket for a filter to be inserted. 

Approximately 362 million pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roads every year with items discarded from vehicles accounting for half of all litter. It is illegal to litter in Texas. Those who are caught littering can face a fine of $500. If the tossed litter weighs more than five pounds, the fine can increase up to $2,000.

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 Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov or call him at 432=498-4746.

AUGUST 21, 2020

MIDLAND COUNTY: Traffic pattern changes coming along Loop 250. Contractor opened CR 60 crossover Friday and will close CR 1150 crossover on Monday. The CR 1150 crossover will remain closed until October.

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

JULY 15, 2020

NORTH LOOP 338 TO GET OVERPASS AT HIGHWAY 385 IN ECTOR COUNTY

18-month project will take North Loop 338 over Highway 385

ODESSA – A project to build an overpass that takes North Loop 338 over U.S. Highway 385 in northern Ector County is scheduled to start in late July.

The decision to take Loop 338 over Highway 385 was made at the request of the City of Odessa and the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization. Having Loop 338 go over Highway 385 will help the traffic flow on Loop 338.

The project area will be along North Loop 338 and stretch about a mile on each side of Highway 385.

As the project progresses, traffic will shift many times. Please obey all warning signs and any flaggers in the area. At times, there will be only one lane available in each direction, and traffic will be sharing lanes that are currently one-way roads. For example, southbound Highway 385 will carry both directions of traffic while northbound Highway 385 is closed. This will happen in all directions at various times.

Ramps connecting North Loop 338 to Highway 385 will also change the configuration of the current intersection. Traffic patterns may change overnight, but message boards are planned to convey changes several days before the happen.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in effect on both roads during the project. A 65-mile-per-hour speed limit will be put in place on both roads as well in the interest of safety. Please obey any signage.

Since all directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. The project should take about 18 months and is scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $25.3 million.

 

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

JULY 13, 2020

AUSTIN — On average, one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads, and transportation officials are urging Texans to exercise caution and limit distractions  while on the road, as traffic increases during the summer months.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign, which begins this month, aims to alert drivers to the risks that motorcyclists face and suggests safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves. The campaign reminds drivers that motorcycles are small and can be hard to see. In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas, and more than 1,800 were seriously injured.

“The six-month period from May through October is the deadliest for motorcycle riders and accounted for 61 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Texas last year,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “That’s why we are urging drivers to Look Twice for Motorcycles-there’s a life riding on it.”

Safety experts say that crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers make left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, misjudging the distance and speed of the motorcycle. Last year, 30 percent of Texas motorcycle fatalities occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related.

TxDOT wants drivers to follow these safety tips to prevent vehicle/motorcycle crashes:

  • Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s easy to misjudge the speed and proximity of an oncoming motorcycle. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.

  • Pay special attention at intersections. Close to one-third of motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.

  • Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.

  • Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots and always use turn signals.

  • Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.

  • Stay back. If you are behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal that they are reducing their speed.

  • Slow down. As always, please obey the posted speed limit.

The highest numbers of fatal motorcycle crashes last year occurred in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and Odessa.

The “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” 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, 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.

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 June 6, 2020.

JULY 2, 2020

ODESSA – A project to rehabilitate a section of Highway 385 in Odessa is scheduled to begin in July. The road is also known locally as Andrews Highway.

The primary focus of work will be to resurface Highway 385 from Yukon Road to Highway 191 (known locally as 42nd Street). There will be times when the contractor will be working around the clock in an effort to reduce the time the project takes. Night work is planned at times to reduce the impact the project has on local traffic. Working at night might also reduce exposure to heavy traffic flows that are common during the day.

Intersection improvements are also planned at the intersection of Highway 385 and Highway 191 (Andrews Highway and 42nd Street). The plan is to have that work completed before the 2020 Permian Basin International Oil Show scheduled in late October.

Some traffic signal upgrades will also occur in the corridor. Motorists shouldn’t really notice any difference other than brief periods when lights may be in all-flashing mode or if all-way stops are employed for short durations.

A 10-foot width restriction will be in place throughout the corridor.

Since both directions of traffic will be maintained during the project, motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey warning signs and any flaggers encountered in the work zone. Slower speeds are also advised.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2021.

Reece Albert Inc. of Midland and San Angelo won the project with a low bid of a little less than $11.7 million.

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

JUNE 4, 2020

MIDLAND – A project to overlay a little more than 12 miles of the Tom Craddick Highway is scheduled to start the week of June 8. The Tom Craddick Highway is also known as the Highway 349 reliever route and goes from FM 1788 to Highway 349 in southern Martin County just north of the Midland County line.

The project will consist of placing an asphalt overlay on all lanes. Some widening work will also be done at the intersection of Holiday Hill Road to add acceleration and deceleration lanes.

Work will be done in 3-mile sections. Since lane closures will be needed in the project, a pilot car will be in use for the project, so delays are likely. A width restriction of 11 feet will be put in place in the work zone.

The speed limit will be about reduced to 65 miles per hour in the work zone.

 

The project is expected to take about six months to complete and should be finalized in early 2021.

Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to obey pilot cars, 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.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $7.5 million.

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

432-617-0129

9601 Wright Dr. Ste 1
Midland, Texas 79711

info@permianbasinmpo.com

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