Bridge strikes has TxDot working to repair, residents having to pay

Bridge strikes has TxDot working to repair, residents having to pay

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - 100 bridge strikes in the last 5 years in the Permian Basin.

"We know how frustrating it is because it's frustrating for us," said Gene Powell, TxDot Spokesperson.

The Texas Department of Transportation can add two more in Midland and Ector County to the list.

"We average two or three a month. These just happened to be on the same weekend," said Powell.

With so many instances, Powell believes why it's so common.

"Somebody doesn't bother to get a permit and just takes off without realizing how large their load is. The get a permit and ignore it and don't follow their permitted route. They load something incorrectly thinking they're good but then they load it wrong, so it's too tall for the structure," said Powell.

One of the bridges that was struck was on Cotton Flat Road in Midland, now has its residents footing the bill.

"We don't know who caused that one, they left. They left the scene so taxpayers will be responsible for paying these damages which really is unfortunate," Powell.

It's not the repairs that can get costly, it's everything else.

"The traffic control that goes with it adds another $1 million, $1.2 million on top of that. We have to bring in concrete traffic barriers. We have to build a crossover into the median to move the traffic over on the Interstate," said Powell.

TxDot is going to continue to preach safety, whether it's the brochures they use or meeting with truck drivers.

"If you can avoid this from happening in the first place, it's just better for everyone involved," said Powell.

The bridge on West Loop 338 in Odessa is reduced to one lane. The bridge on Cotton Flat Road is closed until an engineer from Austin takes a look at the damage.

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