Drivers on Loop 323 in "Squeeze Play"

Sometimes it's like running a gauntlet.  There are big rigs on your right, and the new Loop 323 median on the left.   It's a tight fit.

"I'm afraid I'm going to hit a car sometimes," says one driver.  "[There are] these curbs where people hit them all the time." Some have bounced along the edge, some have slammed right into it.

Driver: "[Need a] little more room, little more room. Yeah."

Despite the cramped quarters, the new median isn't taking up any more room.

Randy Redmond, TxDOT Tyler area engineer:  "The median isn't any wider than it was when it was a flush median."  He says the road was striped to accomodate construction and it made the lane width uneven. Right now, the inside lane -- the median's curb to the center lane -- is just 10 feet eight inches, barely enough for cars. The center measures 11' 4'', and the right lane measures 16 feet.

Driver: "I think it is pretty narrow. I complain when I come through it.  They were making it better, but I think they made it a little worse. It's inconvenient."

Redmond says not for long.  After the median project is completed later this month, everything on that part of the loop will be new... again.

"Once we get that [median to Highway 155] complete, we're going to come in and hot mix and resurface from Old Bullard to New Copeland, and put the final striping on that and that part of project should be complete. Hopefully, by the end of October, we'll have that done,"  Redmond says.

Adding a one foot shoulder, and evening up the lanes to about 12 feet each is the plan. So for now, drivers are told to slow down and be patient. The pressure will ease soon.