TxDOT looking to fix dangerous I-20 US-84 interchange

NOLAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB) - An interchange in Nolan County causes major problems for drivers.  The Interstate 20 and U.S. 84 interchange is infamous among locals and first responders.  The Texas department of Transportation is hoping to fix the problem.  They held a public meeting at the Roscoe Collegiate High School cafeteria to talk to those who live and work in the area about their plans.  

The I-20 and US-84 interchange is well known among Nolan County first responders.

"We used to refer to it as the Bermuda Triangle because when a call came in for a wreck we almost always knew where it was," Sweetwater Fire Chief, Grant Madden said.

Chief Madden said it's not just one portion of the interchange that causes problems.

"It was east bound, west bound, south bound, north bound on 84, any of that stuff," Chief Madden said.

Even the locals say they try to avoid the interchange at all costs.

"I will go the county roads or back roads around Sweetwater to Roscoe just to avoid this interstate," Sweetwater resident, Casey Wetsel said.

TxDOT has already made some improvements over the last several years.

"They put lights up out there and that has helped tremendously because that let's people know there's a curve coming up," Chief Madden said.

However, there is still work to be done.  Chief Madden said within the last year there have been several accidents especially on one of the sharp curves.

"This truck was hauling cattle feed.  He came around this corner too quickly and laid it over right there," Chief Madden said.

TxDOT is looking to make more changes.

"Some of those improvements could include flattening the curves on I-20 to bring that up to design standards.  It could also include reconstructing the I-20 and US-84 connectors to bring them up to design standards...possibly reconstructing the I-20 frontage roads among several other different things," TxDOT public information officer, Mary Belle Olson said.

While the project is still in it's early stages, first responders are eager to see the plans.

"We hope to one day be without having to do that part of our job.  We're always going to be here but the fewer wrecks we run on, the more traffic flows freely the better off we are," Chief Madden said.

The cost of the project is estimated at $40,000,000 but there is funding available.  For those not able to make the meeting, they can send comments to the Texas Department of Transportation Abilene District office.


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