TxDOT could resume Spur 1966 project with another freeway shutdown next month

KDBC
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 12:25am

 Heavy machinery sat idle near Schuster Avenue in West El Paso, two days after a suspected drunk driver killed a pair of construction workers on a closed stretch of I-10.

Tuesday, Texas Department of Transportation officials said crews could resume work on the unfinished Spur 1966 overpass on Sunday, June 1 with another freeway shutdown.  

TxDOT officials said the date was still tentative.

The overpass project was put on hold after 18-year-old Jan Michael Nieves drove through construction barriers on I-10 East near Schuster, according to investigators, and killed 54-year-old Jimmy Joe Broadstreet and 39-year-old James Green. Emergency crews were called to the scene around 2:30 Sunday morning.

"We will probably increase security,” said TxDOT Spokeswoman Blanca del Valle.

El Paso Police have not said how many officers were on the freeway assisting with traffic control the morning of the crash, nor has the department said how Nieves got past police, or where he entered the freeway.

TxDOT said due to the ongoing investigation, it couldn’t reveal how the barricades near the construction zone were arranged.

The agency did tell NewsChannel 9 that like all of its large-scale projects, the traffic control configuration, including where signs and orange barrels are placed, met all state and federal guidelines.

“Traffic control has to be approved through our traffic division,” Del Valle said.

Nieves, a Fort Bliss soldier, remained locked up at the El Paso County Jail late Tuesday under bonds totaling $200,000.

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