TxDOT responds to complaints following another day of traffic woes on FM 2818

Traffic signal timing led to significant delays Tuesday morning in an already congested area. TxDOT says it is aware of the issue.
KBTX News 3 at Ten EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 7:11 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - “It usually took 20 minutes, now it takes 40 minutes.”

“I do not know who’s in charge of that but they’re doing a terrible job.”

“It’s actually the worst.”

“Construction Station strikes again!”

These are just some of the comments on social media Tuesday morning after drivers were stuck, yet again, in delays along the construction route of FM 2818 in College Station. Many of the drivers complained about traffic light cycles at Luther Street and George Bush Drive being too short and leading to long delays and stops.

Patricia Flaherty lives in south College Station and is dependent on FM 2818 to make it to work at Fujifilm. Now, she can depend on the route to make her late.

“Normal day going to work even during the summer, 20 minutes, like from here to the other side by the airport, door to door 20 minutes. Students come back, if you leave at the wrong time, you know, it’s going to be half hour or maybe pushing 45 minutes. With the construction, it’s now been at least an hour with some of the rain, it was an hour and a half,” she said.

The Texas Department of Transportation is taking full blame for what’s happening.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, TxDOT said, “This is an ongoing construction traffic shift that began last Wednesday night. Temporary traffic signal timings are in effect. More traffic shifts will occur overnight, tonight. Traffic signals will then be timed to control this new construction configuration which will extend into 2023.”

Flaherty says she timed the light at George Bush Dr. on Tuesday and found only four to five cars made it through before changing. This is where she says the congestion began.

“It effectively just became a stop sign and just backed everything up,” she said.

The City of College Station says it’s also fielding complaints about the rush hour delays.

“TxDOT, Knife River, and Knife River’s subcontractors are responsible for the timing and maintenance of the temporary traffic signals during construction. However, all complaints that we receive through phone calls or our reporting system, we pass on to them. They have been kind enough to report back to us that timing and detection adjustments are still being made to meet traffic demands,” said City of College Station Traffic Engineer Tomas Lindheimer

Last week TxDOT said delays that led to traffic jams on Wellborn Road were due to longer-than-expected striping on a ramp by Knife River crews.

This operation is part of the larger TxDOT FM 2818 project from north of FM 60 (Raymond Stotzer Parkway) to FM 2154 (Wellborn Road), a length of 3.2 miles, for a total cost of $47.6 million. The purpose of this project is to improve safety, enhance capacity and address congestion along FM 2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway) by converting the corridor to a “Super Street” design.