PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A review that included Rio Grande Valley roadway cable barriers indicated the structures can save motorists lives.
The recent review focused on 130 miles of new cable barriers across four Texas Department of Transportation districts, including the district in Pharr, which oversees TxDOT operations in the Valley. The other districts were in Lufkin, Waco and Fort Worth, officials said.
Funds for the cable barriers were taken from a $600 million Road to Zero project, allocated by the Texas Transportation Commission in 2019. Since being installed, the barriers have been hit and repaired 242 times, officials said.
Road to Zero began in 2019 when “the Texas Transportation Commission set an objective for TxDOT to end all fatalities on Texas roads by 2050,” according to TxDOT’s Traffic Safety Data Portal.
As part of its Road to Zero safety initiative, TxDOT has completed 88 projects throughout the state, and more than 120 additional projects are currently under construction.
“I’m going to assume that each of those 242 strikes was a potential fatality had that cable barrier not been there,” Commissioner Laura Ryan said.
Ten people are killed every day on average on roads in Texas, according to TxDOT.
The work includes widening some roads and adding rumble strips that alert drivers if they are veering out of their lane or off the road. In addition, TxDOT is adding reinforced shoulders and select turn lanes, and deploying new technology that will increase safety on the entire system of roads.