A pump jack at sunrise in the Permian Basin (Tom Michael / Marfa Public Radio)
By Mitch Borden
Permian Basin roads are buckling under the strain of commercial traffic as the region’s oil industry booms. Congested roads are stifling production and creating public safety hazards, but a recent federal grant may relieve some of the stress put on the region’s infrastructure.
The Texas Department of Transportation received $50 million in federal grant money to improve access to the region’s natural resources, and to increase public safety in accident-prone areas.
The money will go toward two projects in Glasscock and Winkler Counties, where four-way stops will be replaced with overpasses.
County Judge Kim Halfmann hopes a new overpass will be more effective in reducing the number of car wrecks here than other measures already in place.
“We have put in rumble strips,” said Halfmann. “We have put in flashing lights. We now have a full-fledged traffic signal there.
TxDOT is in the beginnings stages of a long-term plan to repair and improve roads across the Permian Basin over the next 10 years.