Construction can make driving down I-10 near downtown a little tricky. Now the Texas Department of Transportation is literally running into a new problem with drivers running into crash cushions. Crash cushions are the covered barriers you see at the entrance and exit ramps that create a blunt end over the barricade the separates the lanes. TxDOT workers say there has been an unusual number of drivers running into them.
In recent weeks, they've had to repair or replace the cushions at the westbound ramps at Heights and Patterson, as well as the HOV entrance at Taylor. It can take thousands of dollars to repair or replace them, not to mention the lane closures and delays.
I-10 Project Manager Kevin Perkins says crash cushions are essential to keep drivers safe. "They would be seriously injured, because they would be hitting a solid object and these barrier walls are 36 inches tall and thirty foot long and full of concrete," he explained.
TxDOT is using federal dollars to help build a feeder road along I-10 between Washington and Taylor. It's a three-year project involving a lot of workers, so TxDOT officials encourage you to slow down and pay attention, especially around entrance and exit ramps. Once the project is finished in March of 2013, drivers will have better access to businesses along I-10, and traffic flow is expected to improve by providing more travel lanes, in case of an accident.