(KCEN) – If you've ever driven on Interstate 35, there's a good chance you have seen an accident or been involved in one within the numerous construction zones. In fact, TxDOT says there is at least one accident every single day within the construction zones along the I35 corridor.
Stretching from Salado to Hillsboro there are 63 miles of active construction work zones, making it the largest in the country. Unfortunately it's also a nightmare for the people who have to drive on it.
"We're doing as much as possible to minimize the inconvenience that we're creating," TxDOT spokesperson Ken Roberts said. "In the meantime motorists have to be patient and a bit more cautious than they've been. They're not on open road any more."
Just between the Pendleton exit in Troy and the Sun Valley exit in Hewitt, TxDOT reported 271 accidents.
About 80 of those have been worked by the Lorena Police Department. Police Chief Tom Dickson says they typically work 70 accidents in an average year, but this year they're looking at 100 to 120 with most being in the ten mile construction zone that goes through Lorena.
"People need to slow down, they need to certainly watch for construction workers but they also need to put some distance between themselves and the car in front of them," Dickson said.
In many of the construction zones the speed limit is lowered to 60 mph. Just last month Dickson says Lorena wrote about 250 tickets, again with many being in the construction zone. "We'll catch people running 80 and 90 mph in those zones," he said.
The main thing, TxDOT and local police departments are asking is for drivers to just be aware of the construction distractions and to slow down.
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