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Construction to begin soon on dangerous Brownsville intersection

(Source: KGBT Photo)

One of the most dangerous intersections and streets in Brownsville could soon get a whole new look and become less congested.

The Texas Department of Transportation and the city of Brownsville say that by July 2019, they will begin construction on raised medians in the middle of Boca Chica Blvd. in order to better direct traffic into businesses and try to reduce the huge amount of accidents on Boca Chica.

“Yes, it’s very dangerous,” said Brownsville driver, Marcos García.

“Drivers that are on this side, want to cross [Boca Chica Blvd.] quickly, and driver coming from the street to [businesses] are also making the road dangerous,” said José Luis García from Brownsville.

The median on Boca Chica Blvd. is completely flat. Drivers are either going eastbound or westbound trying to get into either sides of businesses and that's causing hundreds of accidents every year.

According to TxDOT, within the last year there have been around 198 reported accidents between I-69E to International Blvd.

"I’ve seen people do a lot of stupid things,” said Mark Lund, City of Brownsville’s Planning Director. “With the [new] median, there will be less opportunity [for accidents]."

The city of Brownsville says the solution is to direct traffic into dedicated U-turn lanes by installing a raised median. The project will cost $3 million with TxDOT starting construction in July 2019.

"The installation of a raised median will reduce the total number of potential conflict points," said Octavio Saenz, spokesperson with TxDOT. A conflict point is where two vehicles have the risk of coming together and colliding.

TxDOT says the dedicated U-turn lanes will make Boca Chica Blvd. a safer road.

“I just try to avoid the area and leave [my house] before 5 p.m.,” Marcos García said.

As part of the planning process, TxDOT is needing the public’s input on the raised median project on Boca Chica Blvd. A public forum will be held next Tuesday, July 17 from 5-7 p.m. at the Oliveira Middle School Cafeteria, located at 444 Land O'Lakes in Brownsville.

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