One of the Permian basin’s most dangerous intersections will be a lot less risky in two years, when the Texas Department of Transportation inaugurates an overpass on the west side of town at State Highways 302 and 115, according to OA Online.
The $55.5-million project will also be a boon to the energy business as the passage of heavy oilfield trucks is greatly facilitated, said Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance Vice President Dustin Fawcett of Midland. Construction will start immediately.
Noting that more than 30 serious accidents had taken place in the intersection during the past five years, Fawcett said that MOTRAN worked for years to get a $25-million federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant for the job. The Permian Road Safety Coalition donated $40,000.
The overpass will entail a mile of access roads and run over 115 and the Union Pacific railroad tracks. The general contractor is Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. of Fort Worth. Kermit is 46 miles west of Odessa on 302.
“We sent letters and provided economic data to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in Washington,” Fawcett said. “We learned that 106,000 daily truck trips in Texas were not being accounted for in TxDOT freight models. More than a third of all Texas freight and over-sized truck trips are in the Permian basin and we found that TxDOT was not counting frac sand trucks and water disposal trucks as freight.”