DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – No place along I-35E in North Texas do more vehicle accidents happen than on the mile stretch just west of downtown Dallas between Riverfront Blvd. and Commerce St.
Statistically, accidents happen here almost every day.
According to data the CBS11 I-Team obtained by the Texas Department of Transportation, in the past two years there’s been 531 crashes along this mile stretch of interstate – that’s nearly twice as many accidents as any other mile section of I-35E.
The peak time for crashes on this troubled spot is between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, according to accident data.
With drivers often crossing multiple lanes in the congested section of interstate to merge on and off I-35E and I-30, TxDOT spokesperson Michelle Releford said it’s no surprise that there’s a high rate of accidents.
“With that kind of weaving, of course, that’s going to lead to more accidents,” she said.
TxDOT said this section of I-35E was never designed for amount of traffic that travels on it daily.
Next year the department will begin holding public hearings, attempting to expedite a project to redesign and build new ramps and bridges.
Releford said this section of I-35E hasn’t had a major design update since the 1950’s.
“We just don’t have enough money to solve all the construction problems that we have as well as keep up with the maintenance,” she said.
This is not the only troubled spot for accidents on I-35E.
Ever since his crash, Lewis Nail said he hates driving on I-35E and would avoid it if he could.
“But you can’t if you want to get anywhere quickly,” he said.
Driving home from work last October on I-35E in Carrolton just before the Belt Line Rd exit, a fuel tanker slammed into the side of Nail’s pick-up truck.
Nail walked away from the crash with neck and back injuries that he said will plague him for the rest of his life.
“I was very, very luck,” he said. “That could have been a lot worse.”
On this mile section of I-35E in Carrolton, statistics show there’s been 176 wrecks in the past two years.
According to data, from the south Dallas County line to Denton (54 miles), there’s been a total of 7765 accidents in the past two years.
In Tarrant County along I-35W (48 miles), there’s been 2732 crashes in the past two year.
The mile section on I-35W near the Airport Freeway exit just north of downtown Fort Worth had the most with 324 wrecks.
TxDOT said weaving and merging are the blame for the high number of accidents in this area.
The $1.4-billion North Tarrant Express Project is designed to help cut down on the number of accidents on that section of interstate. Work on the project begins in the fall.