TxDOT Reports More Than 30 Bridges Damaged Due To Careless Drivers 11/26/13
November 26, 2013
Midland/Odessa – TxDOT officials are reporting on a trend that is costing you as a taxpayer thousands of dollars and a headache on the road. According to TxDOT in just two years more than 30 bridges have been damaged in the Odessa district by large trucks not paying attention.
The burden to make the repairs falls on everyone in the Permian Basin. Not only does it affect a driver’s commute, but causes TxDOT to spend millions on problems that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
From Big Spring, to Stanton, to Odessa truck drivers have left a trail of destruction forcing drivers to reroute and add time to their everyday commute.
“These bridge hits are a pain for TxDOT, a pain for the public and it’s just really unacceptable. Every single one of them is preventable,” said TxDOT spokesman Gene Powell.
Trucks carrying a load taller than 14 feet must acquire a permit that will show the safest route for them to travel. However it’s becoming more and more common for drivers to ignore the law and drive without a permit.
“It comes back to commercial drivers who are responsible and are not taking care of the things they need to take care of,” said Powell.
To pay for the damages TxDOT relies on the insurance of the trucking company. However many times trucks don’t stop after causing damage to the bridge, meaning the repairs come directly from the taxpayer’s pockets.
“It’s still an inconvenience, TxDOT has to fund the repairs early and get the money back later, and it keeps us from doing other things with tax payer dollars,” said Powell.
Powell says TxDOT is currently working on a campaign to promote awareness throughout the Permian Basin on the importance of carrying a permit for truck drivers through flyers and billboards.