EASTLAND COUNTY Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Ranger Hill is infamous among Texas drivers that frequent Interstate 20. Its 6-degree slope and mandatory slow down have caused countless accidents and frustrated motorists for some time.
A project to completely remodel and fortify the highway on this strip began in 2017, and now in 2021, is finally seeing an end in sight.
“It was an absolute success because they had basically taken off a chunk of the hill and straightened out those curves, and it has beautiful lines. I think it’s a very nicely constructed project,” says Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Brownwood Public Information Officer Lisa Tipton.
Though the project is not yet complete, westbound traffic toward Ranger was completely open to the public as of June 22, 2021.
The final construction of the frontage roads running along side the highway, as well as the overpass exit heading east, are expected to be completed by the end of summer 2021, according to TxDOT Brownwood.
“For the district, it’s a milestone, and to get it complete, it’s going to be really exciting” Tipton said.
The $79 million project has already cut the slope of the hill in half, from 6 degrees (one of the steepest in Texas) to 3.5 degrees. This, combined with much gentler curves, allow traffic to continue flowing at 75 miles per hour instead of slowing down to 65 as was marked on the old Ranger Hill.
A recently completed rest stop and the nearly finished addition of a third eastbound lane will ensure that those who need a break can stop when necessary.
Also, heavier vehicles can utilize this new, slower lane to keep faster traffic separate and safe.