Project will enhance safety by reducing grade on busy interstate


March 28, 2017


Andrew Carlson page1image5568

EASTLAND COUNTY – Following a competitive bidding process, the Texas Department of Transportation has awarded a $76,238,256.10 contract to Zachry Construction Corporation of San Antonio for the reconstruction and realignment of Interstate 20 at Ranger Hill in northeastern Eastland County. The contract was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission at its March 28 meeting. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer and will last approximately three years.

This safety-related project will upgrade the interstate to meet current TxDOT and federal design and safety standards within the Ranger Hill area. Currently, I-20 features a steep 6% grade and a sharp “s” curve on the hill, with no frontage roads. While TxDOT has implemented various safety upgrades in recent years, such as reducing the speed limit, construction of a concrete median barrier, pavement improvements and installation of high-mast lighting for increased nighttime visibility, the roadway still does not meet current TxDOT standards.

The project will shift the centerline of the roadway approximately 500 feet to the south of the current alignment. The grade (steepness) of the roadway will be significantly reduced from 6% to approximately 3.5%, along with more gradual curves. The project adds a third lane in the westbound (uphill) direction allowing large trucks and other slower vehicles to ascend the hill without encumbering faster traffic in the inside lanes. The eastbound (downhill) lanes will initially feature two travel lanes, but will be expandable to three lanes as traffic levels are projected to increase in future years. Continuous frontage roads will be added on both sides of the interstate throughout the project area which could be utilized as detour routes should there be an incident closing the main travel lanes.

TxDOT has acquired the additional right of way needed for the project, and contractors have cleared the land where the interstate will be routed. Utility companies are in the final stages of relocating their respective pipelines, communications and power lines to the new right of way.

More information on the project, including schematics, maps and environmental assessment documents can be found on the TxDOT website.

TxDOT’s Brownwood District includes Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Lampasas, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba and Stephens counties.

For news media inquiries, contact or (325) 643-0413.