CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some residents know first-hand how difficult it can be to make changes to traffic patterns, especially when dealing with state agencies and city government.
David Loeb, former Corpus Christi City Council at-large representative and a current Del Mar College regent, said cutting through the red tape to get signage to prevent numerous crashes near one off-ramp from the Harbor Bridge was a multi-year challenge.
"TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) it's their exit ramp, but then it turns into a city road and city intersection and apparently when any of those changes happen in that case, you have to get both of them involved and both of them to agree. Which is hard being large bureaucracies," Loeb said.
In 2005, Loeb began working to have signage added to the intersection at Twigg and North Mesquite Streets. He said he knew that signage would help prevent future accidents.
It took more than three years for TxDOT and the City of Corpus Christi to implement those changes.
He said that while in his office across from this intersection — which is a southbound exit from the Harbor Bridge — he used to hear multiple crashes a year.
And while none of the crashes were fatal, many of them resulted in injuries and trips to the hospital. Loeb argued it could have been avoided with proper signage.
He said he learned one of the issues was the City of Corpus Christi thought TxDOT was addressing the issue, and TxDOT thought the City of Corpus Christi was addressing the issue. Both entities were responsible for the intersection.
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He called city officials, TxDOT, and even KRIS 6 News after each accident, until finally, a blinking light, a larger stop sign, and signage indicating cross traffic does not stop, were installed.
"Engineers can't predict everything that everyone will do, but when the same thing keeps happening over and over again you kind of feel a need to try to advocate and get it solved," Loeb said. "It was pretty obvious you know, it wasn't, there were different types of accidents. It was the same accident over and over and over again for years and it wasn't changing."
KRIS 6 News asked TxDOT a series of questions about safety related to these exit ramps, any ongoing plans to make these exits safer, and any action taken by TxDOT following fatalities in 2015, 2020, and 2022. We also requested an interview with TxDOT executive director Marc Williams.
TxDOT did not respond to our questions by the time part one aired on Feb. 15. On Wednesday, TxDOT answered. But, rather than answering the questions provided, the state agency provided a statement and said all questions were addressed.
To report issues or any complaints with roadways managed by the Texas Department of Transportation, click here.