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Traffic Jams Causing Concerns for Veterans Memorial High School Parents

3 years 2 months 1 week ago Friday, September 15 2017 Sep 15, 2017 September 15, 2017 5:33 PM September 15, 2017 in News

BROWNSVILLE – Constant traffic jams is causing lots of frustration for parents in Brownsville.

Those who head to Veterans Memorial High School said they run into long, slow moving traffic, sometimes backed up for two miles, when dropping off or picking up their children.

Veterans Memorial High School parent Eliseo Cobo said some days, he's stuck in traffic for about an hour.

"We make the effort to wake up earlier and bring them earlier," Cobo said. "When I go to work, my parents bring them so they are up earlier. My daughter leaves the house about 7:45 a.m."

TXDOT Spokesman Octavio Saenz said crews are working to widen Highway 281. During this time he said the area remains a two-lane highway.

Cobo said it's affecting students.

"It's stressing them out, you know, ‘We've got to get there, we've got to get there.’ So that's the problem,” said the parent.

Veterans Memorial High School Principal Dr. Norma Linda Gallegos said the parent complaints are nothing new. She said the area has been under construction since last year.

Gallegos wants parents to know the issue is out of the districts control.

"We always tell the parents that we are going to work with their children," Gallegos said. "And we are not going to penalize them for being late to school for something that's beyond our control and their control."

Construction of a right-turn lane leading to the high school hit a roadblock recently, Saenz said.

He said several utility providers have power, cable or internet lines near the intersection and Construction can't begin until those are relocated.

"The issue is that when you look at a road, you can't just look at the asphalt. You've got to look at what's buried, underneath the soil," he explained. "These utilities have to be moved by the utility company. We've had a major delay in that."

Cobo said he is tired of sitting in traffic.

"Just open a little piece (of road) and that will probably alleviate a lot of the traffic," he suggested.

He wants adequate lanes to accommodate all these parents.

Saenz said TXDOT recently held an emergency meeting to address this issue.

Utility providers also agreed to relocate their lines by Monday. Once relocated, Saenz added construction of the right-turn lane should last two weeks. 

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