Near the end of July, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced plans to convert 83 miles of road to gravel in South and West Texas. Roads have been damaged by higher traffic and can be converted to gravel much more quickly than they can be repaired.
The conversion will affect roads in four South Texas counties: Dimmit, La Salle, Live Oak, and Zavala.
Three miles of I-37 frontage in Live Oak County and a portion of FM 1916 in Dimmit County have already been converted.
The department cited a funding shortfall for the reasoning. A typical paved road can cost $500,000 to maintain, while the cost falls to $10,000 for a gravel road. Speed limits will likely be lowered to 30 mph on gravel roads.
TxDOT Delaying Some Road Converstions
Lawmakers have raised concerns and TxDOT has indicated that some road conversions have been delayed by 60 days. On a case-by-case basis, counties can ask the state to reconsider.
A transportation department official said counties will be allowed to assume control of the gravel roads.
Is your area affected by the gravel road conversions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.