I-35 construction a driver's nightmare - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

I-35 construction a driver's nightmare

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(KCEN) -- Last year there were 420 crashes on I-35 - just between Troy and Hewitt.

That stretch of road is mainly construction zones where it's not hard to catch speeders or distracted drivers.

Randy and Roger have been driving big rigs for a combined 74 years.

So they're no stranger to the open roads. Or the not "so open" I-35 between Troy and Hewitt.

They say it takes their 80,000 pound trucks about 100 yards to stop safely when they're going around 60 miles per hour.

So those tailgaters mixed with concrete barriers and constant construction changes to the lanes don't mix well.

Lorena Police Chief Tom Dickson sees drivers tailgating every day through the four mile stretch of I-35 his men patrol, all of which is construction.

Just last year - they worked 104 accidents within those few miles.

"90 percent of the ones we work out there on the interstate are cars running into the back of other cars," Chief Dickson said.

Another huge problem? Speed.

"It doesn't take long to catch these speeders, I just checked this person going 81, and since January 1, Lorena PD has written more than 300 tickets and warnings."

If you're caught speeding in a construction zone where there are clearly workers present, you're slapped with a double fine. The speed limit signs aren't there just for looks.

"Our greatest fear is someone in a crash getting killed or one of these construction workers getting hurt or killed and not being able to go home," the chief said.

Getting home to their families is exactly what Randy and Roger hope to do at the end of the day, hoping those distracted drivers and speeders out there re-think their driving habits.

There are 49 miles of active construction zones between Salado and Abbott.

The expansion project between Troy and Hewitt is expected to be finished next year.

 

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