Road maintenance in Brownsville causing concern for some drivers

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One stretch of road in Brownsville is causing concerns for some drivers who say loose rocks and stones are causing damage to their vehicles.

Annually, the Texas Department of Transportation spent $180M on preventive maintenance on 197,000 miles of road statewide.

TxDOT Public Information Officer Octavio Saenz said some of that money is being used to seal the road on Highway 48; the maintenance is part of an ongoing program to keep roads from falling apart.

“Essentially it’s preventive maintenance,” Saenz said. “It’s like [if] you would paint your home or change the oil in your car before it’s needed.”

But the rocks used to seal the road don’t seem to be binding like they’re supposed to, and some drivers are concerned they’re causing damage to their vehicles.

South Padre Island resident Tommy Saenz takes the road from his home to Brownsville. He said it’s rough on his brand-new car.

“Rocks were flying everywhere,” Tommy said. “[The car] paint was chipped, windshield was chipped. It was horrific. I’ve been driving for at least 40 years and that is the worst repaving of a road I’ve ever seen.”

Saenz said TxDOT is aware of the issue and is looking into it, but until they find out why it’s happening, cleaning efforts will continue.

While a claim can be filed by contacting the Pharr District Office at 702-6100 or at www.txdot.gov, the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §101.021 does not allow TxDOT to expend state funds for damage to property that is sustained because of highway conditions.

Officials said, individuals should contact their insurance company, and report the incident of property damage to them.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show information from TxDOT regarding property damage due to highway conditions  


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