'Dirt ramps' a driving hazard

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN, TX -- When there's a traffic delay sometimes it seems easier to just drive off the shoulder onto the access road instead of waiting. Officials say you may want to think twice.

The man-made ramps are so well-traveled there are ruts in the ground from years of use. TX-DOT officials say they would like to make an off ramp. So far, they've lacked the money to do it.

It seems so tempting to take the dirt path off US 75 to Fallon Dr. The dirt is well-worn and shows many cars drive over the same stretch of road.

"The highway is there for a reason. They're designed for safety and it's against the law to cut across that median," says Kevin Harris, engineer for TX-DOT.

Police say they have patrolled this spot for years, naming it the "dirt ramp.” They ticket drivers they catch making their own exits. It's hazardous as cars slow down from the 70-mile-an-hour speed limit to take the dirt exit.

"When they actually do take the exit, it's not built as a line of sight to seeing oncoming traffic on the on the access road. It could result in severe collisions there," says Cpl. Brad Gibson, over the traffic division of the Sherman Police Department.

Harris says TX-DOT conducted a study on 75 between highway 82 and FM 691 and found exit ramps would improve traffic flow. They are waiting for approval for the project. The challenge though, is finding funding to pay for the project.

"We are working with SEDCO, the city of Sherman, the developer to try and find a partnership there," Harris say.

The public is apparently using this as a make-shift exit ramp already, but TX-DOT says their plans would make it safer and easier to travel.

"We would like to see those ramps go into Fallon Drive, see the Fallon Drive bridge widened out to give more access to that whole area there."

That would leave off-roading to a weekend hobby and not a practice on a major US highway.

TX-DOT took billion dollar budget cut for projects in North Texas for 2008, so when they say budgeting is a problem, they mean it.

In the meantime, they say to remember you're putting yourself in danger when you leave the pavement.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Apr 7, 2008 at 08:00 PM
    Deputy, you cannot sit there and tell me they obey the laws, I can be driving down the highway and one come flying passed me the next the I knwo they are stopped somewhere getting something to eat LOL!!! So please don't tell me they obey the law
  • by midniteryder Location: Sherman on Apr 7, 2008 at 04:23 PM
    How did this thread go from "redneck exit ramps" to how cops drive? ANd especially the negative comments by the gutless wonders masquerading under "anonymous"? What say we watch our speed and the way we drive, and stop taking the redneck off-ramps? Now watch, I'll get in trouble for using that term.......and I have friends who a redneck and would find that comment funny.
  • by Fozzy on Apr 7, 2008 at 07:28 AM
    Seems like there is a lot of "cop envy" going on here. If you think that its so easy being in law enforcement and that they get to do everything that you wish you could do.. why not go join the police force somewhere?
  • by Deputy Location: Oklahoma on Apr 6, 2008 at 08:02 PM
    All law enforcement are required to obey the same laws we enforce. Sorry that you have some that do not
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Apr 4, 2008 at 03:08 PM
    Anonymous, these police officers do just about what they want to do and they never get caught they don't have to wear their seat belts they drive as fast as they want to and no one can stop them and give them a ticket.
  • by james Location: ardmore on Apr 4, 2008 at 02:18 PM
    maybe texas could build some mexican casinos
  • by Casino worker Location: Durant, OK on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:32 AM
    Anonymous, your narrow minded view about casinos keeps you from realizing that the jobs held by casino workers pay better than most jobs around this area. Also hundreds of people drive from Dallas to the casinos every day. They stay in our hotels and eat at our restaurants therefore boosting our economy. They might even visit the mall if they had easy access (to get back to the subject on hand).
  • by bubba redneck Location: sherman on Apr 4, 2008 at 09:38 AM
    wow looks like the economy up there in okiehoma is being distroyed..look what they have.... new hotels...new roads...a new convention center..new resturants....wow i bet dension wish they had half of that....if you already have to pay it who are we to tell them what to do with it...atleast it would stay in the state and not go across the red river...god anonymous here is 5 bucks go buy a clue....
  • by Anonymous on Apr 4, 2008 at 08:47 AM
    Bubba Redneck, casinos destroy the economy in just about every area they set up in. As if enough of our tax money isn't already being wasted by the welfare/disability recipients and old fogeys on Social Security who gamble it away on the 1st of every month...
  • by Suling Location: Durant on Apr 4, 2008 at 06:49 AM
    This exit should have been built when Hwy 75 bypassed the old mall, but wait, that wouldn't have put them out of business and redirected traffic to the new Town Center shopping area. (sigh) We're not stupid you know.
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