EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Just a few months ago, Cisco fire chief Walter Fairbanks began capturing footage of vehicles running off the road and even some collisions. All happening down a particular stretch of I-20 where the road is worn and in need of an update.
“Between Thanksgiving and today, we’ve had over 40 accidents on I-20 during wet weather. That’s not just Cisco, but all of Eastland County,” said Fairbanks.
Concerned for the motorists and the rise in time his crews were spending on accidents, Fairbanks wrote a letter to the Governors office and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TxDOT informed him that a plan was in the works to bring traction back to this section of I-20.
“I got that reply on Monday and since then we’ve had more accidents. A lot of close calls. So I decided to make it known to the public what we were dealing with,” Fairbanks explained.
He compiled his footage and photos from the scenes of those accidents and posted it to Facebook. He explained what he had seen in past months and called for change, sooner rather than later, because accidents were skyrocketing every time it rained.
“When it rains, it’s like a sheet of ice,” Fairbanks said.
A clear problem to all, including TxDOT. On December 13, their crews began patching certain areas of that stretch of the interstate to prepare the way for two upcoming projects aimed at re-texturing the areas in question.
“I’m glad, that was the whole purpose of my going public with it,” Fairbanks expressed.
In February, TxDOT crews will begin re-texturing the interstate from the Callahan County line to State Highway 206. In April, an “Overlay project” will pick up there and extend out to just within a mile of State Highway 6 in Eastland.
But in the meantime, conditions will continue to be hazardous. Drivers are advised to be cautions of how the weather affects their driving and to slow down in the affected areas, because it’s not just your life on the line.
“Because I’m fed up. I don’t want to bury a Firefighter,” Fairbanks expressed.