AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -There have been three fatalities in less than a month on U.S. 287 near Hedley and now residents around the area are becoming concerned.
The Texas Department of Transportation is working on an $8 million rehabilitation project throughout U.S. 287 in the city of Hedley to improve the roadway, but during the construction, residents have been very cautious and scared to drive in the area.
As a parent of a Hedley high school student, Jeremy Martinez says he’s terrified for his daughter to drive in the construction zones in Hedley following recent crashes.
“It’s just around the corner before schools out, but I hope they finish it before then, because we have a lot of friends and family that travel, and that’s scary for anybody. I feel sorry for all the people that lost loved ones and people that got hurt,” said Parent of a Hedley Student Jeremy Martinez.
The Texas Department of Transportation says the rehabilitation project will, in the end, help make the roads safer and will be completed by next month.
“We are going to replace it with a new concrete surface and we are also going to have lighting throughout the city of Hedley along U.S. 287," said Ginger Wilson, the public information officer with TXDot of Childress. "We expect our contractors to have U.S. 287 in Hedley open to regular traffic at the end of February, and at that time we also expect our contractors to go ahead and re-establish access to the city of Hedley at that time.”
Due to safety concerns with the ongoing construction, they have closed all three exits into Hedley from U.S. 287.
The school district advises students to use County Road 24 to County Road V to get to school, and in cases of weather where the roads aren’t easily accessible, they will delay school and find alternate routes.
Martinez hopes other drivers will heed caution while construction continues.
“Our EMT and State Troopers do an awesome job, and they don’t want to see it. They don’t want to see no more deaths,” said Martinez.
DPS Sergeant Cindy Barkley reiterates that all drivers in the area need to slow down, observe warning signs, and give plenty of room to the driver in front of you.