TxDOT launches new free towing initiative to ease I-10 traffic

GO10 construction zone. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

The Texas Department of Transportation is making an effort to ease traffic congestion in I-10 construction zones.

Starting on Monday, multiple tow trucks will be on standby on I-10 from Cotton Street to Thorn Avenue, where construction for the GO10 Project and a portion of the Border West Expressway project are taking place..

As previously reported, the largest number of construction zone crashes happen along this corridor, according to TxDOT.

Jennifer Wright, spokeswoman for the transportation department, said the tow trucks will be on standby during peak rush hours, which are from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wright said the portion of I-10 from Cotton Street to Thorn Avenue has no shoulders and few exits, which poses a safety hazard for stalled vehicles. Vehicles involved in minor crashes involving no injuries may also be towed.

“There's a lot of construction going on there. And it's any type of stalled vehicle, vehicle out of gas, breakdown (that) causes (a)major traffic jam," said Wright.

Tow trucks will tow the vehicles to the nearest safe place at no cost.

Spotters at TxDOT’s Trans Vista operation center will tell the towing company when they see a stalled vehicle on I-10.

Once the vehicle has been towed, it will be up to drivers to get the help they need, and they should not abandon their vehicles, Wright said.

Vehicles that are left behind will be towed to the northeast corner of I-10 and Mesa Street.

Ryan Martinez is a local driver.

Hesaid he drives that part of the I-10 every day to get to work and he's happy to see TxDOT offering more options to help with traffic jams.

"Most of the time, people are trying to find a towing company but at least Tx-Dot will speed up the process with that,” said Martinez.

He said he's been in a lot of car accidents on that stretch of road.

He is optimistic this towing service will help others who end up in the same situation.

"Well, I don't think it will reduce the number of accidents but it will at least help with finding people to get those cars out of the way for us,” he said.

It will take some time for El Paso drivers to get used to this new service.

Wright said if you see a tow truck behind you, make room for it.

"If you're in a traffic jam and it's because of a stalled vehicle and you see tow truck lights coming up behind you, it would be a good idea to make room. Let the tow truck through because they will grab that car and clear out that lane congestion for you," said Wright.

The new initiative is funded through the El Paso Metropolitan Organization.

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