Study group looking at safety enhancements, modernizing I-20

Study group looking at safety enhancements, modernizing I-20

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Like the other 35-thousand motorists who enter the east Texas piney woods on Interstate 20 every day, North Texas commercial trucker Andrew Isbell's number one job is to safely get home to his family. But he says it's tough traveling alongside the speeders.

"Seems like everybody seems to be in more of a hurry," Isbell says. "I guess people from Texas mad because they lost all their money in Louisiana, so they're wanting to get back over here as quick as they can."

Jokes aside, he's pleased the Texas Transportation Commission is trying to navigate to a safer Interstate 20.

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt is one of more than a dozen people on an I-20 study group called by state commissioner Jeff Austin. This week, the group held the fourth of seven meetings to find solutions for a safer freeway that opened 62 years ago.

"This is 2014, so a lot more traffic, a lot bigger trucks," Stoudt says, adding that the group is examining the need for better entrance and exit ramps, frontage roads and adding a third lane of traffic in both directions.

Isbell likes those ideas, but he also says the 75-mile-an-hour speed limit is too high.

"Ain't nobody gonna go by it. At 55, they was going 65. So 75, they're going 85. Or 95," Isbell says.

That might be included in the study group's final report to state commissioners some time this fall.

 


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