Dozens of accidents point to trouble spots on I-35

(Photo by Dacota Taylor/file)
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) After multiple accidents over the weekend on I-35 officials are urging drivers to take caution when they take to the road. Especially when driving in certain areas that seem to be prone to traffic accidents.

Since the beginning of March, Temple police have responded to more than 20 accidents on Interstate 35.

Officer Shawana Neely says the amount of construction on I-35 has contributed to some of the problems.

“The construction zones have been causing a lot of issues with drivers not paying attention to the speed limits and driving so closely upon the other vehicles in front of them,” Neely said.

Jodi Wheatley is the Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) and says many drivers ignore road conditions and are just worried about one thing.

“How can I get where I am going as fast as possible and they are not thinking about safety factors along the way,” Wheatley said.

TXDOT says I-35 has roughly 50 miles of roadway which is under construction right now. Parts of the interstate have been under construction for more than 5 years.

"Thinking ahead and navigating the construction zones is key to being able to get through with as little stress and as little problems as possible,” Wheatley said.

But problem areas exist, including around mile markers 285 and 286 in Salado which has seen at least four major accidents in the last two weeks which in total shutdown lanes of the interstate for nearly 24 hours.

There are also problem areas in Temple near mile markers 299 and 300 where in January there was a 9 car pile-up and just last week there was a FedEx truck which crashed and then exploded in flames.

Officials say the majority of the accidents are in Salado, Temple and Troy where there are concrete barriers outlining the roadway to protect construction zones. Drivers are learning, the concrete walls leave them only a few inches for error.

To drive safely Officer Neely says drivers should consider going slower than the posted speed and stay in the right-hand lane.

TXDOT says to avoid extra worry, drivers should allow extra time to get to their destination whenever they will be traveling through the construction areas of I-35.