Telephone Road is not closing down

by Jacqueline Sit

NewsWest 9

"I drive it everyday it's a good short cut," one driver said.

Nearly 2000 drivers travel down the telephone road everyday.

From Hobbs, New Mexico and Gaines County to Midland and back, it's a vital route for these truck drivers to deliver the goods.

"With this kind of equipment you see here it would be very difficult to go through town because it's dangerous for traffic so this is a good route to travel for us," one truck driver said.

But now it's official, the very much traveled turf will stay open.

"By no means, I don't think anyone wanted to close it not even myself, but when you see a hazard in the county, something must be done to eliminate that hazard," Hiram Hubert, Andrews County Precinct 3 Commissioner, said.

The main concern was this road is simply too dangerous with the narrow curves and drivers taking off beyond the speed limit, but now that TxDot is stepping in, they hope this will be safe for everyone.

"It was a drastic measurement, but it needed to be taken out of the county system, and put on TXDOT system," Hubert said.

TXDOT Representative Matt Carr says they also recognize the heavy traffic through that route , and that's why the state is proposing $2.2 million dollars in funding to keep it.

"We got a little over $2 million dollars for construction of this project," Matt Carr of TxDot said.

As long as Andrews County also pay an estimated $225,000 dollars for right of way, fencing and utilities, but first building a resolution to get the road onto the state system.

"We're very happy.  We want the road into the TXDOT system, we want a safe road in our county, and I think this would've take place now," Hubert said.

That's much anticipated news many others and neighboring counties have long waited for and shutting it down is now a worry of the past.

"What it would do to service companies and commuters would be devastating, the different route that they take would have to take an extra 30 minutes to their travel time one way and that costs money," Donna Johnson, Seminole Economic Development Executive Director, said.   

If everything works out as plan, TXDOT expects to complete this project by year 2010.