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Roadway continues to cause grievances, Robstown can't afford a solution

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-20 23:30:13-05

ROBSTOWN, Texas — Almost two years ago our sister station KZTV reported on County Road 36. It’s a stretch of road west of highway 77 in Robstown that is just littered with potholes every few feet. Residents in the area tell us the situation is no better, in fact, getting worse.

"Either re-do it completely or cover up some of the really bad pot holes because they are very, very bad. There’s no way around," said Claudia De La Cruz. She drives this route twice a week for the last three years.

It’s not an exaggeration, for about a half mile stretch you can’t avoid a pothole.

So people have been making a new route around County Road 36, resorting to either driving on the grass or in the field. Edges of the grass are visibly dead while grass farther from the road is still green. Tire tracks are easily seen in the farm land to the side of the road.

Jose Alfaro, who lives a few miles farther down the road said the farmer who owns the property put up "No Trespassing" signs on Saturday. An attempt to get people to stop driving in his field.

“I’ve had some people say they’ve had suspension problems car problems. I’ve actually blown out a tire there on that road,” Alfaro said.

His main concern is how are emergency services supposed to get down that road in a timely manner?

“We can’t really get no access to the highway,” he said.

A few residents said this road has been like this for years and people have their assumptions why.

“I think it’s because of some of the trailer tractors that come in and out of here,” De La Cruz said.

In that stretch of road are two companies that require heavy load transportation: Martin Marietta and Flatiron-Dragados, who is the contractor responsible for building the new Harbor Bridge.

"The trucks actually, in our opinion, cause a lot of the problems on the road because they’re the ones that use that road every single day,” said Robstown Mayor Gilbert Gomez

Like when the story was first reported on a couple years ago, Gomez said the city just doesn’t have the funding.

“Everything’s more expensive now-a-days to begin with," he said. "But we’re limited on funds on how much we can spend on fixing streets. We’re trying to partner up with different people. That road specifically is targeted for partnership with the county or with the trucking companies out there.”

Gomez said it's not at the top of the list because there aren't many people that live on that road that are in the city limits.

"Most of the residents that complain about that road live out there in the Colonials," Gomez said.

Gomez said he had been working with the county to get something started.

"Unfortunately, we were talking with County Judge (Barbara) Canales before the election," he said. "She agreed to talk to us about it and see how we can partner up in doing the reconstruction of the street, but we had a different outcome in the election. So, now we're going to have to go back and see if we can talk to Judge (Connie) Scott about that."

Gomez added the road can’t be patched. It needs a complete overhaul and needs to include drainage fixes.

It's estimated that a reconstruction of a mile of roadway equals about $1 million. However, Gomez guesses the repair of County Road 36 will be much more if it's repaired to withstand the heavy traffic.

Alfaro hasn't been satisfied with the city's attempts to address the problem.

“It's a little disappointing because this story came out over a year and a half ago and the problem has been ongoing since before then," said Alfaro. "The mayor, what he said is it’s going to take time, it’s going to take money. Well, it’s been a year and a half…how much money have you raised? How much has been put aside?”

Gomez said he’s trying to plan meetings with the county and the two businesses. Until then, he suggests taking an alternate route like County Road 38.

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