Rep. Landgraf working to find solutions to recent bridge strikes, possible law on table

Rep. Landgraf working to find solutions to recent bridge strikes, possible law on table

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Last week, two bridges were struck in the Permian Basin. Earlier this week, another one was hit.

As those numbers continue to rise, it leaves local leaders in a bind of what to do.

One lawmaker is thinking about a solution to the problem.

"I'm frustrated like so many West Texans that this continues to happen," said Representative Brooks Landgraf.

Adding to the recent strikes locally, including one in his backyard in Ector County.

"We've had 14 of these overpass strikes across the state of Texas and most of those have been in the Permian Basin just here since last November 1," said Landgraf.

Rep. Landgraf is now looking at solutions to these recent problems.

"This is reaching a critical stage and I think we have to do something about it," said Landgraf.

Those solutions first start with meeting with Texas Department of Transportation officials and other state agencies and possibly coming up with some kind of law for the drivers behind the bridge hits.

"Make sure we have all of the signage both on the overpass itself but also at the preceding exits. Make sure those are all accurate. At the end of the day, we want to make sure those who are responsible are the ones paying for it," said Landgraf.

If you break it you buy it, that's how it goes if authorities find the drivers who damage the overpasses. But if they aren't found then residents have to fork over money, that's what Landgraf believes isn't right.

"If we don't assess that liability against the responsible party, then as we've seen in the past, the taxpayers are left footing the bill," said Landgraf.

14 strikes in the last few months, 100 in the last five years, Landgraf looks to work with other state representatives to make sure those numbers surely drop.

TxDot officials tell us the structure of the bridges aren't the issue, most bridges designed now are as high as 18 feet.

Landgraf says one of those state representatives he will be talking to is Representative Tom Craddick in Midland.

No laws on this matter could be passed until lawmakers meet again in January 2019.

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