A month and a half after state officials said they would be fixed, nearly 100 streetlights are still out in the median along Interstate 35 between Round Rock and Georgetown.
Georgetown resident Pete Vera called the problem to the attention of the Texas Department of Transportation in November, and has now been waiting for five months for the repairs. In late February, state officials told Statesman Watch the lights would be fixed in two weeks.
But as many as 97 lights are still out, especially near Georgetown, Vera said. “I checked by taking that drive at night recently,” he said.
The contractor working on the repairs has run into new problems, said Kelli Reyna, spokeswoman for TxDOT.
“We are actively working on performing these lighting repairs. Our contractor has encountered weather delays and some electrical issues, such as circuit and wiring problems, an electric panel being hit by a motorist, and burned up panels, while making the repairs. Our goal is to remain diligent on these repairs to resolve these electrical issues to ensure the lights are working as soon as feasibly possible,” she said.
She said she does not have a timetable for finishing the work.
Vera, 65, says it has already taken too long. “I don’t think they have an interest to fix it at all. They fixed some lights near Round Rock but I think they found that the problem was overwhelming. Now, they have 40 to 50 lights out in a row in a big chunk near Georgetown. Those lights were out before when I first reported the problem,” he said.
He vows to stay on top of the agency until the repairs are made. “It’s a matter of safety.” he said. The stretch of the highway that concerns him is traveled by 150,000 cars a day.
The problem: Pete Vera reported last November that more than 50 streetlights were out along Interstate 35 from Round Rock to Georgetown
Who’s responsible: Texas Department of Transportation
What’s new: Agency officials said in late February that the problem would be fixed within two weeks. Although some lights have been repaired, many are still out, and officials say they’ve run into new problems