Thursday, September 30, 2010
Reporting a pothole just got easier. In fact, a WHOLE lot easier.
A couple of weeks ago we told you about a new way of reporting highway problems through our website. Beginning today you can now call a special toll-free number to report a pothole or any other maintenance problem on any of TxDOT's 80,000 miles of roadway.
Calling 888.885.8248 will put you in touch with a real, live person who will then relay the information to the appropriate district. The district will then look into the problem and work toward getting it resolved.
Remember that the number is for those highways under TxDOT's responsibility. Those include interstates, US highways, state highways, FM roads and Ranch to Market roads. City streets are the responsibility of the cities.
Operators will staff the phones Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 a.m. Central Standard time. Weekend calls will go to voicemail and calls returned the following work day.
No more fumbling through the phonebook. No more trying to figure out who to call. Simply dial the number and TxDOT will do the rest.
Yes, operators really are standing by....
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here's a challenge for some of you old-time Beaumont folks. It's not really that difficult. However, it's a little bit of highway trivia for those you who know some of the local history.
It's a bit slow to upload. Therefore, make sure to give it a bit of time.
Let us know if you think you know the answer as to where this is and what they are doing.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Is your old clunker on its last tire? Has that old jalopy finally bitten the dust? Here's your chance to win a new set of wheels.
The state's "Drive Clean Across Texas" program is giving you to chance to win a new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid donated by the Dallas Cowboys. All you have to do is visit www.drivecleanacrosstexas.org and register to win. It's that simple.
A couple of important things to remember, though. First, you must be a Texas resident, at least 18 years old and have a current Texas driver's license. You have until midnight September 26th to register.
The drawing will take place on or around September 28th and the lucky winner gets to drive away in a new car. And even if you don't win, you still could get some really neat prizes. Second and third place winners will each receive a pair of tickets to a Dallas Cowboys 2010 home game at Cowboys Stadium.
The "Drive Clean Across Texas" campaign is a partnership between TxDOT and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The effort aims at helping reduce vehicle-based pollution across the state. For more information on how you can reduce pollution and save money visit: DriveCleanAcrossTexas.org
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Fortunately, there's a new way of getting your favorite (or perhaps least favorite) pothole fixed much quicker. If you run across a pothole, or any other maintenance issue on the state highway system, you can shoot TxDOT a quick email using our new "Report-A-Pothole" page. The page also allows you to contact us concerning mowing, guardrail damage, damaged traffic signals, road debris and even signage problems along state-maintained highways.
You can access the site here: www.txdot.gov/contact_us/potholes/
Remember: This is only for highways on the state highway system. This includes interstate, U.S., state highways (SH), farm-to-market (FM), ranch-to-market (RM), and other highways maintained by TxDOT. Streets maintained by cities are not included.
Once you report the issue, it is sent to the maintenance section and/or area engineer who supervises the area. Maintenance crews will then get to work fixing the problem.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The AAA is expecting a 10% increase in travelers than last year. That means more than 34 million people will drive at least 50 miles away from home. It also means more congestion and more enforcement.
Law enforcement will hit the highway looking not only for speeders, but for those who hit the bottle and get behind the wheel. Driving drunk can cost you quite a bit. First-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver’s license for up to a year, and serve 180 days in jail. It doesn't necessarily stop there. Other costs associated with an impaired driving arrest and conviction can add up to more than $17,000 in the form of bail, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, vehicle insurance increases, and other expenses.
Of course, this doesn't even begin to take into the account the human toll in terms of those killed or injured by drunk drivers.
So if you are heading out, enjoy the weekend, be safe and have a good time with family and friends. Also, make sure to find out the local road conditions by calling our new automated phone system with up-to-date closures. Call 1-800-452-9292.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Calling 1-800-452-9292 will get you near real-time information on traffic and weather impacting Texas roads and highways. In just one phone call, drivers can learn everything about current road conditions including construction delays and lane closures. Callers can also to speak to travel counselors during business hours and can also request travel literature.
The system can handle as many as 900 calls for automated information at any time. In the event of a large-scale event like a winter blizzard or a hurricane, TxDOT and AT&T can expand the system to handle higher call volumes.
Highway conditions are updated every five minutes. And when TxDOT employees across the state update the state's online Highway Conditions Reporting System, the new IVR phone system will update the information almost instantly.
The previous TxDOT Travel Information Line included recorded information that was sometimes out-of-date. With the new IVR technology, callers will have direct access to updates on the highways on which they want to drive.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Emergency crews have reopened a stretch of I-10 in Jefferson County that has been closed since the wee hours of Sunday morning. That's when the truck, carrying isobutane overturned near Hamshire Road.
Since then, crews have been working to offload the material onto a new tanker. They finished the job today and have reopened the interstate.
That's really good news for drivers..and the City of Bridge City that's seen a big increase in traffic as they were along the detour.
There's still some work to do as workers clean motor oil from the ditch.
The good news, though, is the highway is open and traffic is flowing.
Who's Driving Tonight?
If you've been drinking, it's not you.
For more information, please visit
Officials say the earliest the highway might reopen is around noon today. However, that's just an estimate and the reopening could take longer than expected.
Meanwhile, I-10 motorists are still being detoured around the site. Westbound motorists use SH 73 through Bridge City. Eastbound motorists use US 90 to SH 61 in Devers then back to I-10.
The wreck took place early Sunday morning when a driver lost control of his 18-wheeler. The tanker, carrying isobutane, turned over and began leaking. Isobutane is highly flammable and dangerous. Emergency workers temporarily evacuated residences within a mile-and-a-half of the epicenter of the wreck. Residents were allowed to return home Monday afternoon.