BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) —Boca Chica Boulevard in the city of Brownsville has had more than 200 accidents every year since 2018 and it is on the top 100 roads with the most traffic incidents in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
TxDOT paired up with the City of Brownsville to build a raised median, add sidewalks, and new drainage projects, but some residents say traffic has not gotten better.
“Sometimes they don’t even pay attention to what they’re doing,” said Mariano Abalos, an employee at a gas station on Boca Chica Boulevard. “In order to get to one point they cross through [the gas station] so sometimes you see accidents.”
The manager at Angelita’s Casa de Cafe on Boca Chica said that he has probably seen more accidents because of the construction.
“As far as accidents I believe that they’re even going further up because people not knowing which way to go,” said Leal.
Leal sent us this video from the incident that took place Sunday.
Octavio Saenz, the spokesperson for the regional TxDOT, said that this part of Boca Chica has always been busy.
“For us, the most important part of this road is that it’s one of the top 100 roads with the most incidents in the state of Texas,” said Saenz.
Saenz said that the $4.7 million project started in October of 2019 with the goal to improve the flow of traffic in the city.
“People coming from the south part of the road can just cut across lanes to go to the opposite side,” said Saenz. “That caused continuous conflict points or areas where there’s a probability that people can crash.”
Though construction is supposed to fix traffic, Leal said in the short term it has posed new challenges for business.
“From our customers having issues being able to come into our plaza, to having issues with our plumbing when they reconstructed the sidewalk,” said Leal.
Saenz said TxDOT is doing what they can and it is up to drivers to drive safe.
“2020 when the number of drivers went down because of COVID-19, we expected the number of accidents to as well but no the percentage still remained the same,” said Saenz. “What does that tell us? That those habits are engrained and those habits need to change.”
The city of Brownsville said they have asked the state to look for more modifications to improve the current traffic plan.
Saenz said that TxDOT’s construction in the area is scheduled to be complete at the end of Fall 2021.