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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