Highway strips in place for safety on U.S. 75

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. --Over the years, more safety features have been added to area roads from better lighting to sturdier guardrails. This week, the Texas Department of Transportation is in the process of adding even more safety enhancements to part of U.S. Highway 75.

You might have already seen the rumble strips on other highways like south of FM 131 to U.S. 75. Now the project is being completed all the way up to the Red River.

It is a sound, or it may better be described as a noise, and it is designed to wake you up. It is a distraction when talking on your cell while driving, but a distraction worthwhile if it saves lives.

"I noticed that if you do nod off and fall asleep and you hit those, they are going to wake you back up and you can get back into your lane. They are a safety precaution,” said Tracy Neal, a resident of Sherman.

"They provide an audible warning for people that are leaving the travel lane in vehicles," said Michael Bolin, the transportation engineer for TxDOT.

Police say that fatigue is a factor in many crashes but some drivers give credit to the rumple strips.

"I know that at times I have drifted over them, and it does get your attention,” said Bolin. "We are trying to currently get them on all of our major roads with high volumes."

TxDOT engineers say it will cost $64,000 to finish this stretch of U.S. 75. That's about $.35 per foot. TxDOT officials say it is all worth it if it means safer driving.

The construction for the rumble strips is scheduled to continue untilthe end of this week. Crews are working on the outside shoulder during the day, which means there will be minor delays since traffic will be reduced to one lane.

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  • by Concerned Location: Citizen on Aug 26, 2008 at 05:34 PM
    I have a question for Michael Bolin of the TxDOT. Would this money not be better spent for long term improvements to the roadways in Grayson County? The substandard "improvements" I see are just a band-aid to the deterioration of our driving surfaces in Grayson County. Chip Seal as an example. It is dangerous in that as it protects against further deterioration of the existing surface it also presents another hazard as seen in all parts of the County. That is, tar coming up from the aggregate laid down forming slick regions in the most heavily traveled areas. Slick dry, let alone wet. I have seen areas where the chip seal has been totally "sucked up" leaving the original roadbed exposed with a pothole and when raining a 1 inch or more puddle of water to hydroplane over. I spend hard earned money in taxes to keep our highways safe. Rumble strips to keep unattentive drivers awake are my least concern.
  • by Larry Location: Sherman, TX on Aug 26, 2008 at 05:00 PM
    I quote from the story above...("I noticed that if you do nod off and fall asleep and you hit those, they are going to wake you back up and you can get back into your lane. They are a safety precaution,” said Tracy Neal, a resident of Sherman.) Good Ghod, are you kidding me? Tracy Neal, stay off the road you are sharing with me. Rumble strips are not the answer to your lack of driving skills. YOU are a hazard admitting you have fallen asleep at the wheel. It scares me to death people like you are on the road. The state should not tax me to protect against drivers such as yourself. It is a drivers responsibility to protect not only oneself, but the other drivers you can affect. You should be jailed for your admission.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 26, 2008 at 04:11 PM
    "Chip Seal" comments can be posted under First Name - a99flash, Location - Sherman, TX.
  • by kg Location: Sherman on Aug 26, 2008 at 03:37 PM
    Signs say the left lane is for passing only until you get into the area where the speed limit is 60 and also the bumpiest. Then it tells you to use the left lane so people can merge and exit on and off the highway safely. BUT, just try to do the posted speed limit at 60 in the left lane. You get everything from major tailgating, finger flipping, road "ragers", and light flashers. Yeah, just try doing the posted speed limit in the left lane on 75. And when they pass you on the right, they almost sideswipe you every time because they are in a hurry and pi$$ed off. We don't need more bumps on this highway, we need someone to slow people down!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 26, 2008 at 03:28 PM
    Since this is about safety lets talk about safety. What is this "chip seal" crap? A low cost "band-aid" designed to extend the life of an already substandard roadway, instead of repaving with asphalt for a 20 year upgrade. The chip seal jobs I see are terrible...raw tar at the surface, all the aggregate pushed below leaving a VERY slick surface dry, and especially wet. Some areas the chip seal has actually been sucked up by traffic leaving the "repaired" surface exposed, not to mention all the tar splattered on my car. I did speak with a TXDOT guy at a local restaurant and he got all huffy saying to do that our taxes would have to go up. That would be fine with me if I knew that money would not be mismanaged, like taxes are not high enough. Road conditions in Grayson County are awful. We don' need no steenkin' roomble streeps.
  • by Mary Location: Sherman on Aug 26, 2008 at 05:03 AM
    Yes 75 through Sherman is awful. The right lane is the worst. Signs say the left lane is for passing only. well that's just too bad. Give me a ticket if you wish but the right lane is so rough I refuse to drive in it. They spent plenty of time "repairing" the area by the lamar exit but you can't tell it now. Maybe if they would do a better job it would last more than 6 months.
  • by Honest Opinion Location: Traveler on Aug 25, 2008 at 09:26 PM
    In my opinion, 75 is a good highway to drive on without the added "noise" until you get to Sherman. The road is bumpy enough when you get to Sherman to wake anyone up unless they are doing 45mph on their cell phone. I could say more but I will leave it at that.
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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