The TxDOTOdessa District is asking trucks with wide loads to travel U.S. Highway 285 between Pecos and the New Mexico state line at specific times to make it safer for work zone workers.
To tackle road improvements faster and to provide a safer work environment for work zone workers, the TxDOT Odessa District is asking trucks with wide loads to travel U.S. Highway 285 between Pecos and the New Mexico state line at specific times.
As those in the trucking industry know, loads wider than 8 ft. 6 in. require a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Wide loads moving through the corridor throughout the day presents safety challenges for the contractors working in the work zones as well as drivers/travelers who may be confused by traffic control devices displaced by wide loads.
“Wide load trucks often accidentally misalign and misplace traffic control devices such as cones, barrels, and directional signs,” said John Speed, district engineer. “This can be disastrous for drivers traveling in temporary work zones and deadly for our workers.”
To accommodate wide load traffic, the Odessa District is designating a travel window from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. through the permitting process for wide loads to use the Highway 285 corridor between Pecos and the New Mexico state line. Work zone managers can restrict wide loads from traveling through any of the work zones unless specific and safe arrangements are made with the construction work zone manager at least 24 hours in advance. Work zone manager contact information will be listed on permits.
These guidelines are designed to increase safety for construction zone workers as well as motorists. It will have the added benefit of allowing contractors to work unimpeded. This should help expedite the projects and shorten construction times.
Until wide load restrictions are lifted on the four road projects currently underway on Highway 285, approved permits will see the following conditions:
- Permittee must have front and rear escorts if required by law, and must have wide load signs front and rear.
- The driver must contact TxDOT's construction work zone manager (contact information shown on permit) prior to entering the work zone.
- The permittee must alert TxDOT's construction work zone manager if any traffic control devices are disturbed while moving through the construction work zone.
- Permittee may only transport an oversized load in the work zone between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. on weekdays unless specific and safe arrangements are made with TxDOT's construction work zone manager at least 24 hours in advance. The construction work zone manager is under no obligation to allow oversized load movements at times other than those listed above.
For more information, visit txdot.gov.