US 287 Construction Safety Issues

Newschannel 6 has been tracking down information all day about the highway construction project on 287.

The construction stretches a little over 11 miles on the northbound lanes from US 82 to Butler Road, past Jolly.

It is raising many questions and the comments on our facebook page shows drivers feel unsafe out on the highway due to the speed on loose gravel. TXDOT is talking to Newschannel 6.

Newschannel 6 crews drove the highway and saw that both lanes are being worked on, which makes it difficult to see where the two lanes divide. Our crews spoke with one driver who says driving the highway at night is extremely dangerous.

Drivers say they are concerned for their safety out on highway 287. Bob Caillet comments, "I've noticed not only the gravel but the dust. It looks almost like smoke in the air. It is very distracting because it's hard to see at night and of course the speed limit has not been reduced."

Speed limit signs still read 70 miles per hour and because there is so much loose gravel, truck drivers like Jerrell Thigpen say his semi is popping up rocks all over the place.    

Jerrell Thigpen says, "It doesn't affect me, but the little cars are going to get a lot of broken windshields the way they are doing it."

TXDOT says the entire project stretches a little over 11 miles. Douge Beer TXDOT's Project Engineer says TXDOT understands residents are upset and the construction has been an inconvenience, but safety is always a priority. TXDOT says the reason for the project is for preventative maintenance on the highway.

But Bob Caillet says he still has mixed feelings about the entire construction project. "I understand we got to maintain our roads and I appreciate the infrastructure being improved but it is distracting. It is the noise, the speed limit, and not having the center lines and the white lines on the edge of the roads is dangerous."

Newschannel 6 asked TXDOT's Project Engineer Douge Beer why the speed limit was not reduced for this project. He says TXDOT and the contractors met before the project and felt that the scope of the project did not warrant any speed changes. He says the project was in accordance with all safety standards.

TXDOT tells newschannel 6 the construction is expected to last another two to three weeks.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6