Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, March 18, 2002
TxDOT says bridge projects ahead of schedule
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Mon., March 18, 2002 -- Construction crews have been working hard
on constructing the new `long bridge' between Pecos and Barstow, which
has caused them to move ahead of schedule.
"We're ahead of schedule," Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
Public Information Officer Glen Larum said, but he added that does not mean
that the bridge would be completed ahead of schedule, according to Larum.
He explained that the same crew, from Knight Construction, Inc. of Big
Spring, is also working on replacing a bridge at Toyah Lake on U.S. 285 and
would be changing back over to that bridge soon.
Work on replacing the 59-year-old Ward County bridge between Pecos and
Barstow, which was narrower than other bridges on the two-lane highway, began
in November. The crew is working on laying the support and side beams on
the long bridge on Business 20 and would soon move to the Toyah Lake bridge,
where they have already completed one side.
The Toyah Lake bridge could only be replaced one side at a time because
it is considered to run over a navigable body of water, even though the ongoing
drought has left Toyah Lake dry for most of the past decade.
"Even though we're ahead of schedule, we probably won't be finished a
couple months ahead," he said.
So far TxDOT has not had any trouble with motorists driving through the
"Traffic has been very responsive to the speed advisories," Larum said.
In fact only one accident has occurred since the construction started,
which was late at night when the crew was gone for the day.
Knight Construction is scheduled to complete both bridges by the first
of October, Larum said.
"If things go really well maybe the middle of September," he said.
TxDOT is also working on resurfacing Interstate 20 between the Pecos River
and Pyote in Ward County, according to Larum.
"They'll be milling off the surface of the roadway and put down a new
surface," he said.
The crews would start on the Eastbound lanes, closing off one lane of
traffic in order to work on that side.
Larum said once the surface of the lanes has been milled they would wait
a few weeks and begin re-surfacing.
He said that once that process started it should only take two to three
weeks to complete. Resurfacing work is also currently being done on a two-mile
stretch of I-20 east of Toyah in Reeves County
AF dedication of bomber site set for Tuesday
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., March 18, 2002 -- U.S. Air Force officials from the 7
th Bomb Wing and representatives from the city of Pecos will hold a
ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning southwest of town to officially
open the Air Force's Realistic Bomber Training Initiative Electronic
Scoring Site in south-central Reeves County.
"It looks great out there," said Pecos Economic Development Director Gari
Ward. "It looks like a space station," he said.
The facility was built as one of two scoring facilities to support the
Realistic Bomber Training Initiative. Work on the other site, located between
Snyder and Lamesa, is scheduled to be completed in June, according to Air
The site will be part of a linked military airspace and ground-based system,
which will provide B-52 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, near Shreveport,
La., and B-1s from Dyess AFB linked integrated combat training.
The RBTI program and the IR-178 flight path over Reeves County, has been
in the works for more than four years. The scoring sites will support the
training by simulating missile threats to bomber aircraft, and score their
evasive actions and simulated weapons use.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., with a fly-by of a
B-52 as part of its regular operations in the training area. There will be
a B-1 fly-by later in the ceremony.
Ward said that the public is also invited to attend the ceremony, which
will be held at the RTBI site, located about six miles west of the intersection
of State Highway 17 and FM 869.
Air Force personnel who will be on hand for the special occasion include,
Col. Jim Rowland who will deliver the main address; Col. Tim Stockings and
several other Air Force officers will also speak, along with Dwight Williams,
Air Space Manager for Dyess AFB.
Guy Hemmingway, who is in charge of operations at the Pecos facility,
will be on hand along with his supervisor, Dahl McClean, with AHNTECH of
San Diego, the company the government has contracted with to run the site.
"All the elected officials and administrators in Pecos have been invited,"
said Ward. "We'll also have representatives from the different entities and
organizations in Pecos."
"We're looking forward to it, it's been a combination of a year and half's
worth of work," said Ward.
Ward said that officials and employees from the facility have been getting
settled in Pecos and seem to be enjoying the community.
"We're really looking forward to the grand opening and welcome all the
Air Force personnel coming in to town," said Ward.
"We look forward to a long and good relationship with the Air Force,"
In addition a special dedication and presentation will be made to Jean
The RTBI site was first announced by the Air Force two years ago. At the
time, Lt. Wes Ticer of Dyess AFB explained that building the site would bring
Reeves County $1.5 million a year, while construction would cost about $6
The Air Force said the new site would bring in 30 people, a number of
whom moved down from the site near Colorado Springs, Colo., that the Pecos
site is replacing.
Ticer said the route in the Pecos area has been a route flown by Air Force
aircraft for over 15 years and the flight patterns would not change.
There would be the same number of flights going through the Pecos area
in a day but the only difference would be the addition of the electronic
Flights over the RTBI site in Pecos will come in as low as 500 feet as
part of the electronic scoring run, while the Lancer Military Operations
Area site in Scurry County will have B-1 and B-52 bombers flying at altitudes
of about 3,000 feet.
In November of 2000, Ranchers and an environmental group filed a federal
lawsuit the stop the Air Force from conducting the low-level bomber training
missions, and a similar suit was filed in U.S. District County in Pecos last
year by the group of farmers and ranchers in the Trans-Pecos and Big Bend
The lawsuits claim the noise would violate the federal Noise Control Act
and have an adverse effect on humans and livestock. The suits, by the Heritage
Environmental Preservation Association and 18 ranchers in Lubbock federal
court, and by the Davis Mountains Heritage Association in Pecos federal court,
remain unsettled, but Air Force officials said they are seeking to consolidate
the two lawsuits into one suit, which would be held in Lubbock or some other
site in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Enterprise wins Associated Press contest awards
PECOS, Mon., March 18, 2002 -- The Pecos Enterprise took home four awards
over the weekend at the Associated Press Managing Editors Convention, held
at the Radisson Hotel in Fort Worth.
The Enterprise picked up one first place award for sports writing in Class
A competition, by Jon Fulbright for a story on the Aug. 31 football game
between the Pecos Eagles and Kermit Yellowjackets. He and reporter Rosie
Flores also shared two honorable mention awards for the Nov. 12, 2001 story
on the closing of the Anchor West plant in Pecos, while the paper also collected
a second place award for webmaster Peggy McCracken and the paper's online
The online edition award was announced Saturday and the other awards were
given out Sunday at the Radisson Hotel. Class A is for daily newspapers in
Texas with 10,000 or fewer daily subscribers and is one of four classifications
for Texas newspapers.
PECOS, Mon., March 18, 2002 -- High Sunday 68. Low this morning 60. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday:
Mostly cloudy: Breezy: And cooler with a 50 percent chance of showers
and thunderstorms. Highs around 60. North winds 5 o 10 mph: Increasing
to 15 to 25 mph. Tuesday night: A 20 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms, then decreasing cloudiness. Lows around 35. Wednesday:
Partly cloudy. Highs around 70. Thursday: Mostly clear. Lows around
40. Highs 70 to 75.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise