PROJECT UPDATES

AUGUST 10, 2021


MIDLAND (TxDOT) – The traffic signals at East Loop 250 and the Interstate 20 service roads will go into red-yellow-green operation Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

This is the culmination of a project that made improvements across the district. In addition to the traffic signals, a left-turn lane was added on South Loop 338 in Odessa at U.S. Highway 385. The project also made signal cabinet upgrades and vehicle detection systems at the following locations:

>> U.S. Highway 385 and North Avenue G in Andrews.

>> U.S. Highway 285 and Nelson Street in Fort Stockton.

>> U.S. Highway 285 and FM 1053 in Fort Stockton.

>> Highway 18 and Highway 302 in Kermit.

>> FM 761 and Washington Street in Pecos.

Willis Electric of Abilene won the project with a low bid of a little more than $1.04 million.

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

MAY 24, 2021

ODESSA (TxDOT) – A district seal coat project begins Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in the Odessa District of the Texas Department of Transportation. Approximately 190 miles of roads in eight counties will be worked on in through mid-June.

Each year the Odessa District seal coats select roads as part of a program to prolong the life of the roads. Seal coating offers three major benefits: it protects the road base by keeping water from seeping in; it seals cracks and stops them from spreading; and it provides a new surface which improves safety.

It is likely that loose rocks will be encountered in the work zones during the seal coat process. Motorists are urged to find alternate routes if possible and avoid work zones. Loose rocks may be present after work is completed as well.

Pilot cars and flaggers will be used frequently due to necessary lane closures. Wait times will vary depending on the amount of traffic. Motorists should obey any pilot cars, warning signs, or flaggers they encounter. Slower speeds are also advised. If possible, motorists should find alternate routes.

The following locations are scheduled to be seal coated. It is difficult to predict exact dates for each location and scheduled dates are subject to change pending weather and other unforeseen circumstances. The locations and tentative schedule are:

MAY 25-26

>> Terrell County: 32.9 miles of RM 2400 from the Pecos County line to Highway 349.

MAY 25-27

>> Pecos County: 23 miles of the Interstate 10 frontage roads from 2.1 miles east of Highway 190 to the Pecos River (Crockett County line).

MAY 27

>> Terrell County: 18.2 miles of RM 2886 from the Pecos County line to RM 2400.

MAY 28

>> Reeves County: 3 miles of Highway 17 from 0.1 miles east of FM 3078 to the Jeff Davis County line. 

MAY 28 and JUNE 1

>> Ward County: 14.7 miles of Highway 115 from Spur 57 to FM 1776.

MAY 28 and JUNE 1-22

>> Pecos County: 33.5 miles of the Interstate 10 frontage roads from Highway 67 to RM 2886.

JUNE 1-2

>> Ward County: 11.2 miles of Spur 57 from Interstate 20 to Business Interstate 20.

JUNE 2

>> Ward County: 7.7 miles of FM 1233 from Highway 18 to Crane County line.

JUNE 3

>> Ector County: 8.8 miles of FM 1936 from Highway 158 to Highway 302.

JUNE 3-4

>> Ector/Crane counties: 7.2 miles of FM 1601 from I-20 to Highway 329.

JUNE 4

>> Ector County: 5.9 miles of FM 866 from Highway 158 to Highway 302.

JUNE 5

>> Andrews County: 6.8 miles of FM 181 from Highway 115 to the Midland County line.

These dates are only offered as a general guide and are for the seal coat operation only. A striping crew will follow in each location a few days later.

Ronald R. Wagner & Co. LLC of Kendalia won the project with a bid of a little more than $6.64 million.

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

APRIL 6, 2021

MIDLAND (TxDOT)– 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 (TxDOT)– 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 (TxDOT) 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 (TxDOT)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.

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 caution 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.

NEWS RELEASES

October 6th, 2021

PROJECT TO START ON HIGHWAY 191 NEAR WEST LOOP 250.

Ramp relocations, road rehabilitation and intersection improvements are all part of plan. 

MIDLAND – Work is scheduled to begin later this month on a project to “reverse” (relocate) ramps, add some auxiliary lanes and rehabilitate some roadway on Highway 191 and West Loop 250.

The most notable part of the project will move the eastbound Highway 191 exit ramp further west. Known as a braided ramp, the new off ramp will go over the existing on ramp. Braided ramps are ramps that cross over each other and are vertically separated by concrete pillars that elevate one or more of them. Braided ramps streamline traffic flow for drivers to reach their destinations.

Ramp “reversals” are also called for in three locations as part of the project. The ramp “reversals” will occur on westbound Highway 191 between West Loop 250 and Highway 158 as well as on both service roads of West Loop 250 between Wadley Avenue and Highway 191 (also known locally as Andrews Highway and/or Business 158). Essentially, the current entrance ramp locations will become exit ramp locations; likewise, the current exit ramp locations will become entrance ramp locations.

The ramp reconfigurations will eliminate some merging conflict points and will also allow more room for queueing on the service road.

Other work scheduled in the project involves intersection improvements at the mid-level interchanges of Highway 191 and Loop 250. In addition to some auxiliary lanes to provide more capacity, the intersections will be built with full-depth concrete pavement to better handle wear and tear from traffic.

The roads at the signalized intersections at Highway 158 (also known locally as Avalon) under the Highway 191 overpass will also be rebuilt.

A reduced speed limit will be in place in work areas.

The first stage of work scheduled to start the week of Oct. 11 will involve widening the shoulders on Highway 191 service roads in both directions from the overpass at Highway 158 to Loop 250. Work will take place on the outside lanes of both service roads in this early stage.

While traffic disruptions and lane closures are a natural part of road construction, the contractor and TxDOT are committed to limiting disruption as much as safely possible. It is difficult to predict an exact schedule since work will be going on in several locations simultaneously. TxDOT will issue traffic alerts and news releases at different stages to keep the public informed. Follow @TxDOTOdessa on Twitter for updates. You can also subscribe to the district’s email traffic alerts by emailing Gene Powell at gene.powell@txdot.gov.

Motorists are asked to slow down when driving in work zones. Motorists are also reminded that state law requires them to obey any warning signs, flaggers and pilot cars encountered in the work zone. TxDOT wants everyone – motorists, contractor employees and TxDOT staff -- to go home safely every day.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2023.

Jones Brothers Dirt & Paving of Odessa won the project with a low bid of a little more than $18.2 million.

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

AUGUST 20, 2021

ODESSA (TXDOT) –

The Odessa District of TxDOT has scheduled a virtual public meeting regarding proposed improvements to Highway 302 in Ector, Winkler, Loving and Reeves counties. The virtual public meeting is scheduled to begin at noon Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. Following the virtual public meeting, the presentation will remain available for viewing through Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

The proposed project is approximately 59 miles long and would go from U.S. Highway 285 in Reeves County to FM 2019 near Notrees in Ector County. The proposal consists of the following:

  • Widen this portion of Highway 302 and make it a four-lane divided highway with two lanes in each direction as well as both inside and outside shoulders;

  • Include a wide center median and/or barrier; and

  • Provide median openings as needed based on traffic data.

It has not been determined how much additional right of way may be required or whether the project will involve construction in wetlands or floodplains.

To log into the virtual public meeting, go to www.txdot.gov and keyword search “SH 302 Virtual Public Meeting.” The online meeting room will open at noon Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, and be available through Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. The meeting will consist of a virtual room and will include both audio and visual components. The virtual public meeting webpage will feature maps and exhibits for the public to review and comment on. The public may submit comments using any of the following methods:

  • Online comment form found at www.TxDOT.gov, keyword search “SH 302 Virtual Public Meeting”.

  • Email: SH302@blantonassociates.com.

  • Mail comment form to: Blanton & Associates, Attn: SH 302 from US 285 to FM 2019, 5 Lakeway Centre Court, Suite 200, Austin, TX 79734.

  • Verbal comments: Call and leave voicemail at (432) 203-6153.

Comments must be received or postmarked by Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, to be included in the official record of the virtual public meeting.

If you need additional information, please call the project consultant engineer Todd Thurber at (432) 203-6153 or email SH302@blantonassociates.com to ask questions and access project materials during the project development process.

Following the virtual public meeting, TxDOT will consider public input received, collect and analyze additional data, develop improvement options, and may request additional public input at future public meetings. TxDOT is committed to developing this project in collaboration with the community in a way that meets the project goals while minimizing community impacts.

This project is in the planning stage. No construction funding or construction timeline has been established yet.

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

AUGUST 19, 2021

AUSTIN (TXDOT) –

No parent should ever receive the kind of devastating news that two Bryan police officers delivered to Pam Todaro one early Saturday morning. At 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014, they appeared on her doorstep to tell her that her 25-year-old son had been killed in a drunk driving crash.

Her son Dillon was driving home from a fish fry and died instantly when his truck ran off the road hitting a brick mailbox and concrete pole. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.16, twice the legal limit.

Dillon is just one of nearly a thousand people killed every year in drunk driving crashes in Texas. Stories like his are part of TxDOT’s “Faces of Drunk Driving” campaign that puts real faces behind the statistics.

Last year there were 963 DUI-alcohol related fatalities. That means on average, a person in Texas dies every nine hours and six minutes as a result of a traffic crash involving alcohol.

”Drinking and driving can lead to tragic consequences that are 100 percent preventable,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “These consequences involve individuals who made the unfortunate decision to drink and drive along with many innocent victims of those decisions.  This is why it is critical to always plan ahead for a sober ride through a designated driver, taxi, ride-share app or simply by staying where you are. Drinking and driving do not mix.”

One of the new “faces” of the campaign, 25-year-old Walter Tidwell talks about those regrets. He shares details of the night he decided to hop in his car and drive home alone after a long night of drinking. Fortunately, Tidwell was pulled over after driving the wrong way down a one-way street before he could hurt himself or someone else. He just recently resolved the case after three years of court visits and will undergo alcohol and drug offender courses, community service and probation. Tidwell hopes his story will convince others to drive sober.

TxDOT’s new campaign will feature events around the state to share stories of Texans who deal with the consequences of a drunk driving crash every day. Events will include an exhibit of powerful testimonials on video in English and Spanish. Full video stories and other drunk driving facts can be found at https://www.facesofdrunkdriving.com.

The Faces of Drunk Driving is an important aspect of the Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign which 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 Odessa District public information officer at gene.powell@TxDOT.gov or (432) 498-4746.

AUGUST 16, 2021

AUSTIN (TXDOT) – Despite much lower traffic levels around Texas schools due to the pandemic, there were still hundreds of crashes in school zones last year. So as millions of Texas students return to class, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to watch out for kids walking and biking to school to keep everyone safe.

Unfortunately, crashes in school zones can and do happen. There were 11 people seriously injured in school zone crashes in 2020, along with 1,214 crashes involving school buses across the state.

The most common causes for these crashes in school zones are failure to control speed, driver inattention, failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign and failure to yield the right of way at a private driveway.

TxDOT is urging drivers to slow down, stay alert and follow all traffic laws to keep children safe and avoid costly fines and tickets. We all have a responsibility to keep children safe on their way to and from school.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Be aware that traffic patterns around schools may have changed since the last school year, and expect more vehicles on the road as many students will be returning for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

  • Stay alert and put your phone away. Using a handheld electronic device while driving in an active school zone is against the law.

  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines increase in school zones.

  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.

  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.

  • Watch for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles.

Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • Follow at a safe distance, keeping in mind that school buses make frequent stops.

  • Always remain alert for children around buses and remember that they may not always look for vehicles before crossing the street.

  • Stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus, regardless of which direction you're headed. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals it's okay to pass.

  • Violations can lead to a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always use sidewalks. If there’s not a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

  • Cross the street at intersections or marked crosswalks. Look left, right and left again before proceeding.

  • Always obey crossing guards.

  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you.

  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked vehicles.

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

  • Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.

  • Follow all traffic rules, signs and signals.      


“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” 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. 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.

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

JULY 15, 2021

AUSTIN (TXDOT) – TxDOT is urging motorists to make safety a priority when they’re behind the wheel, especially in areas where oil and gas activity often brings increased traffic and large trucks to rural areas and adjacent communities.

In 2020, nearly 70,000 crashes occurred in the state’s five major energy production areas — the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin and Haynesville/Bossier Shale — resulting in 932 fatalities. Failure to control speed and driver inattention were the top reasons for crashes in these areas. 

TxDOT offers these tips when driving in energy-production areas:

•     Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions and weather.

•     Focus 100% on driving and put your phone away: no talking or texting when behind the wheel.

•     Give large trucks plenty of space, be patient and pass only when it’s safe and legal to do so.

•     Obey stop signs and traffic signals.

•     Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

•     Always buckle up — drivers and passengers, day and night.

 

Drivers should also remember the “Move Over or Slow Down” law, requiring motorists to move over a lane or slow to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching an emergency vehicle, law enforcement, TxDOT vehicle, tow truck or utility vehicle stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside.

“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” 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. 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.

For media inquiries, contact Odessa District public information officer Gene Powell at gene.powell@TxDOT.gov or (432) 498-4746.

MAY 26, 2021

AUSTIN (TXDOT) – The Texas Transportation Commission today selected Marc Williams as the Texas Department of Transportation’s new executive director. Williams, who has served as the agency’s deputy executive since 2016, will begin his new role June 1, 2021.

Williams has worked at TxDOT since 2012, when he joined the department as director of planning, serving in that role until 2015, when he was appointed TxDOT’s interim deputy director. Prior to joining TxDOT, Williams’ career has included leadership roles with a variety of public and private sector organizations involved with the planning, development and implementation of transportation infrastructure projects across the United States.

“Marc Williams has proven himself a well-respected leader in transportation in both Texas and at the national level,” said J. Bruce Bugg Jr., Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission. “Marc brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face going forward and is an excellent person to lead the 12,000 women and men of TxDOT. TxDOT is in good hands.”

“Leading this incredible department and serving the citizens of Texas is an honor,” Williams said. “I am looking forward to working side by side with the women and men of TxDOT, the Texas Transportation Commission and our transportation stakeholders as TxDOT continues its important mission of Connecting You with Texas.”

Williams is a graduate of Texas A&M University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas.

Williams is the 22nd executive director for the department.

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

MAY 18, 2021

ODESSA (TxDOT) –  The Odessa District has launched an interactive online survey asking people to participate in a transportation study for Loop 338 in Odessa. The survey will be available for the public through June 7, 2021.

The goal of the survey is to help identify future improvements that may be needed on Loop 338. By taking the survey, participants can make comments and identify what they see as priorities for Loop 338 moving forward. This is the first of two surveys that will be made available. The second survey launch date is not scheduled yet.

The first page of the survey shows six segments of Loop 338. The second page gives participants a chance to rank how segments should be prioritized for improvements. Then participants get a chance to identify what they consider to be the issues each segment faces and how improvements could help. An interactive map lets people drop icons on the sections where issues exist.

Finally, we ask for a little personal information to help us understand your frame of reference for your point of view as a survey participant. The information will not be shared with telemarketers; it will only be used by TxDOT for research purposes on this study.

There will also be a feature allowing additional comments participants may want to share with TxDOT.

This study is an important tool for TxDOT as a plan is developed for the future of Loop 338. Construction dates are not known since priorities have not been made.

To participate in the study, visit www.txdot.gov and search “Odessa Loop 338” from May 18 through June 7. If you have questions or concerns regarding the proposed project or the interactive online survey, please contact Gabriel Ramirez, P.E., Advanced Planning Engineer, TxDOT Odessa District, at (432) 498-4645 or Gabriel.Ramirez@TxDOT.gov.

As a friendly reminder, the district is already building overpasses on Loop 338 at East Yukon and North U.S. Highway 385.

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

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 caution 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.