SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB) – A major intersection in Sweetwater is causing traffic issues. If you’ve ever traveled on Highway 70 heading into Sweetwater you probably hit some bad traffic at the intersection at Interstate 20. According to residents it gets especially bad during major holidays.
In a small town like Sweetwater, traffic isn’t exactly common but at this intersection of Highway 70 and I-20, traffic could be backed up for miles.
“It’s coming from San Antonio, Corpus, oil field people going home, coming back, things like that,“ Sweetwater Fire Department Chief Grant Madden said.
Long weekends, spring break, and major holidays are when residents say traffic is the worst.
“I have just sat through light after light after light,“ Sweetwater resident Larissa Petty said.
Petty lives off Highway 70.
“We just can’t pull off our road to get in unless you have a nice person that will let you in,“ Petty said.
She says a ten minute trip could take as long as 45 during those peak times.
“You look out there and you’re just like ‘ugh I’m not going to be able to get out so I’m not even going to bother to try and get out on the road,’“ Petty said.
But what’s the cause? Many residents believe the light system on either side of I-20 is to blame.
“The lights don’t have an arrow so it’s just the red yellow and green. There’s nothing to let people go and turn to get on to I-20 so everybody just sits and those who are going straight are blocking the people that are turning and you only have a certain amount of time to go and turn,“ Petty said.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s construction project on the access road of the Interstate has only slowed traffic more but that project is set to be complete in the end of April or first week of May.
“We’ll give it a little bit of time after that and then we’ll bring in some people to do a study on the signals to make sure the signal timing is correct and then also we’re going to be doing a saturation study on that entire neighborhood to see if there is anything else that we can do to make it a little bit easier to travel on,“ TxDOT Public Information Officer Cheryl Sawyers said.
TxDOT officials want residents to know hope is on the horizon.
“We want to make sure the best solution is found so not just a band-aid but maybe something that is short term fix and then also a longer term fix that will help alleviate traffic especially as the community grows,“ Sawyers said.