Loop 323 Construction Creating Bottlenecks, Headaches

"Right now it's kind of a pain waiting so long." says one driver.

At one of Tyler's busiest intersections, Broadway and Loop 323, it's stop and go, and wait some more.

"Nothing we can do about it, just grin and bear it," says another driver.

Some are trying to go west... but many drivers find themselves sitting in Broadway's only left turn lane now.  The daytime construction has made bottlenecks at times. Folks are jumping those new medians in their rush.

"People are so accustomed to turning they're just running right into them," says a driver.

Some drivers are wondering why the construction's not going on at night. TxDOT tells us while it would speed things up, it would cost way too much.  Plus, some materials like the concrete can't be produced 24-7, and above all:  if drivers are hitting the medians in the daytime, there's a big risk of a worker being hit at night.

Vernon Webb, TxDOT's Assistant Area Engineer:  "It's dangerous during the day, and at night the contractor and our office agreed the safety was our top priority."

Drivers have even called 911 about all this. Not because of safety, but just to complain that they're stuck in traffic. Tyler Police had nearly 200 calls on Friday.  Those folks just wanted to vent to someone... that they weren't going anywhere.

The headaches will be around for another four weeks or so, then the entire stretch from Hwy 155 to New Copeland Rd. will be paved.

Medians will be added to Broadway south of Loop 323, though that project isn't scheduled to begin until early 2004.