Community caught off guard by construction - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

ROSS

Community caught off guard by construction

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ROSS - Construction and driving on I-35 pretty much go hand-in-hand. But some stretches are worse than others. In Ross, there are new hardships to deal with. The overpass at Tours Road was knocked down Monday night. The problem is that the overpass just to the north at Ross Road has already been demolished too. That's making it really tough for people in Ross to get around.

Ross Fire Chief Stacey Driskell says, "I had a citizen call me about 6 'clock this morning, wanted to know if our fire department knew that the bridge was shut down. And I didn't know anything about it."

Driskell and the mayor say they were told during planning meetings that two consecutive overpasses would not be knocked down during the I-35 expansion project.  But a TxDOT spokesman, Ken Roberts, says that promise was never made.

Roberts says, "We try very hard not to do that unless we have to. In this case the proximity of these two overpasses necessitated us to do this." 

Driskell says the double shutdown isn't just inconvenient, it could pose a safety risk -- especially because the community relies on a volunteer fire department.
Driskell says, "We have to saddle up at home, to the fire station, get the trucks and go to the fire. That's a lot of time.  Normally it would only take us five minutes. Now it's going to take an extra 10 or 15."

More than anything, Ross leaders say they would have appreciated a heads-up.  Roberts says the school district and EMS were notified, but the fire chief and mayor were not because Ross isn't close enough to I-35.   

Roberts says other communities who are near I-35, but not on it, should sign up for construction alerts on www.my35.org.  The information for this overpass demolition was posted last week.
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