DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The iconic State of Texas symbol that’s been a fixture on the I-20 median near Spur 408 since 2010, is being removed.
Chopper 11 was over the scene as work got underway Monday afternoon.
TXDOT said the short answer to why it’s being moved is safety.
“Motorists have been pulling off of I-20 onto the median to get out and take pictures,” explained TxDOT spokesperson Ryan La Fontaine. “It has grown in popularity and most recently it has really grown… Along with that growth also comes the growth of safety concerns with all of those people pulling off the interstate then trying to get back from the shoulder back into oncoming traffic.”
It has always been illegal to stop there along the highway to go onto the site and take photos.
“In fact we do have signs out there that clearly state that it is illegal to park in that area and still, people are getting out of their cars to take pictures… so we have to find a new location for it.”
Crews have already cleared logs around the border of the landmark.
TXDOT said it is working with the City of Grand Prairie to put the red, white and blue Texas symbol in another location that does not cause safety issues.
“We began looking for a new location some time ago,” said La Fontaine. “We identified a couple of different areas [to move the design] and — for one reason or another — those areas didn’t work. So what we’ve done is we started discussing it with the City of Grand Prairie and they showed some interest in wanting to keep it and find a better location within the city for it that would be safer.”
La Fontaine said there are no specific crashes in recent years that have directly led to the symbol’s removal.
People on social media voiced displeasure about the iconic Texas outline going away, but the TxDOT spokesperson reiterates, it’s not going to be gone forever.
“Well, It’s not a permanent removal that’s for sure,” said La Fontaine. “We’re finding a safer location within the City of Grand Prairie to reinstall it and set it up so where people can park legally and safely; get out of their cars and take as many pictures as they want… I believe the city and TxDOT have discussed possibly manicuring the area; landscaping the area around the emblem and making it pretty.”
La Fontaine said TxDOT is well aware what the landmark means to people.
“We understand that this emblem is source of local pride and we’re certainly happy and thankful to the city of Grand Prairie and pleased to be working with them to find a safer location,” said La Fontaine.
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