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Inconsistent Speed Limits in Construction Zone Raising Concerns

3 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Friday, March 31 2017 Mar 31, 2017 March 31, 2017 5:26 PM March 31, 2017 in News

NEAR BROWNSVILLE – A construction project in parts of Highway 281 near Brownsville is causing safety concerns for residents and drivers.

The two-lane highway is currently being converted into a four-lane highway. Residents in the area past Alton Gloor Blvd welcome the expansion of Highway 281.

However, some said inconsistencies in the project have them on edge.

“It’s scary, yeah, we have to be very careful when we get out of here,” Brownsville resident Felipa Ruiz said.

Some motorists also told us the speed limits posted along the construction route increase and decrease in a matter of feet.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS drove through the segment of road ourselves to see what they were talking about.

Ruiz, who lives near the highway, said it makes no sense.

“They have it at 40-something then 60. I don’t know why. They should have one speed only, 45. It’s a construction zone, you know. Why put 60 or 44?  I don’t understand that,” she said.

Residents said they feel the speed limit is too high for the construction zone.

In one stretch, a spot shows a posted limit of 50 mph but the opposite side shows a limit of 60 mph.

“You know when there’s construction there’s going to be delays and scary situations because people drive too fast,” said Ruiz.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the Texas Department of Transportation to find out about the inconsistencies.

TxDOT spokesperson Octavio Saenz sent us a brief statement explaining the construction project will help alleviate the heavy traffic once it’s completed. He added traffic won’t be held back every time a resident needs to turn into their driveway.

Saenz directed us to the TxDOT's website section on speed limits. He said they are set according to limits used by 85 percent of drivers.

The construction project is set to be finalized by April of 2018.

Saenz said complaints can be addressed to the TxDOT office in Pharr. 

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