Community outcry prompts speed reduction proposal on US 290

FROM STAFF REPORTS

STONEWALL –  A leisurely trip to Fredericksburg just might become a little safer if a Texas Department of Transportation speed reduction proposal gains approval, officials say.

Following a traffic study, TxDOT staff concluded that a reduction in the speed limit from 70 mph to 60 mph along U.S. 290 between Fredericksburg and Stonewall would make the “busy highway” much safer in light of a Dec. 3 fatal crash.

“The community requested the speed study after a recent crash claimed the lives of four people,” said Austin district engineer Terry McCoy in a statement.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, just before noon that day, the driver of a Toyota passenger car traveling westbound in the inside lane on U.S. 290 “lost control” and collided with a Chevrolet pickup traveling west in the outside lane.

The Toyota also collided with a Chevrolet Suburban, a third vehicle, traveling eastbound on U.S. 290.

Four people, two in the Toyota and two in the Suburban, died as a result of the crash, the report stated.

Shortly after, TxDOT launched a study of the roadway, which resulted in the recommendation to reduce the speed limit to 60 mph.

“TxDOT investigates every major crash to see how we can prevent future recurrences,” McCoy added. “We listen, we learn, and we look for the proper solution. In this case, the proper solution was a reduction in the speed limit.”

Along with reduced speed, a proposed project to widen and improve the roadway would include a center-turn lane to assist with traffic flow.

The proposal requires approval by the Texas Transportation Commission. A vote is expected in January.

“Safety is our number one priority at TxDOT,” McCoy stated. “Because of that, we moved very quickly on the speed study.”

The study involves speed checks, crash history, turning movements, and roadway conditions.

editor@thepicayune.com

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