More concerns raised about new stretch of highway

March 8, 2011 8:33:26 PM PST
There's a new problem with the stretch of Highway 90A that's only been open for a few months.

Last month, we told you about how the roadway wasn't on the mapping system used by emergency responders. That's been fixed, but now neighbors say they've noticed another very dangerous problem.

It's a new road but local residents are wondering, if they are having a hard time understanding some of the signage, what would happen if it's someone completely unfamiliar with the area?

Wilfred Broussard has lived in the Woodforest West neighborhood for more than 30 years, so when the new Highway 90 opened on the east side at the beginning of this year, it made getting around easier.

"There definitely will be a benefit down the road for this highway coming this way," Broussard said.

But the longtime resident is concerned not everyone is going to be able to navigate it safely.

"It's a life and death situation," Broussard said.

He says many of the signs are confusing.

"You've got a Normandy sign. How are you going to get to Normandy?" he said.

As you approach, signs point to Normandy in one direction, but clearly it's not that way. And Broussard points out it's not the other way either.

"A little hesitation like that; you are coming down this freeway, this highway, 60 miles an hour and somebody is stopped trying to figure out where Normandy is versus C.E. King," Broussard said.

And the Maxey Road sign can appear to be pointing drivers to the ramp right into oncoming traffic.

"Why would you put a Maxey Road sign with an arrow there?" Broussard wondered.

There have been two fatal accidents since the road opened.

A male driver was killed January 29 after going the wrong way on the ramp. And last month, Jerry Byrd lost his 84-year-old mother, Olga, when she drove the wrong way and crashed into another car.

"I hope that somebody does something about it because innocent people are losing their lives," Jerry Byrd said.

A spokesperson for TxDOT issued the followed statement:

"The signage in the area has met all requirements and standards as part of the design plan. What is there has been inspected and we continue to monitor the conditions along the roadway ... Further, if there are any suggestions from local residents we would be willing to consider them."

Broussard's greatest fear is what could happen if his concerns aren't addressed.

"Fatal accident number three -- our kids could be involved," he said.

TxDOT adds it will make further adjustments to the road and signage if they find it's necessary.