Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
I-20 bridge at Salt Draw opens ahead of
By JON FULBRIGHT
Work on repairing the Interstate 20 bridges
flooding two months ago is running ahead of schedule, and completion of
$3.65 million project is now expected to be completed before the end of
“They are making terrific time on that job,” said
Larum, Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer
Odessa District. A new eastbound bridge across Salt Draw was opened to
last week, and work is now underway to demolish and then replace the
bridge over the draw.
Flooding from two days of heavy rains collapsed a
the northwest side of Toyah in the morning hours of April 4; sending
into over two dozen homes in that city. The water from that flood would
continue down San Martine Draw to Salt Draw, eventually causing the
the eastbound lanes of I-20 about 17 hours after the initial levee
Traffic was detoured off I-20 for 11 days, forcing
into a 25-mile detour into Pecos, until the surviving westbound bridge
shored up for two-way traffic use. In late April, TxDOT signed a
Gilbert Texas of Fort Worth to repair the bridges.
“When that job was bid out, the bid was to finish
days, while the other bids came in at 102 and 120 days,” Larum said.
bridge crew from Gilbert Texas is the ‘A’ crew. They think they can
54 days, which would be 10 days before the first of July.”
Gilbert began work on the eastbound bridge at the
April, and Larum said the new deck to replace the two collapsed
poured on May 17. The rails for the new deck were installed last week
bridge reopened to traffic on May 26.
“They immediately went to work demolishing the
of the westbound bridge, and taking down the column supports that Jones
Brothers (Construction) reinforced,” Larum said. Between
150 and 200 feet of the westbound bridge is due for replacement.
Other recent bridge replacement projects in the
including the Business I-20 long bridge between Pecos and Barstow and
285 bridge over Toyah Lake, have taking from eight to 11 months to
“If they keep to the same schedule they’ve been working at, they should
10 days before deadline,” Larum said.
“I think being able to rebuild a bridge like that in a month is
The bridge repair project is one of three major
along Interstate 20 in the Pecos area. Work is underway near Barstow on
second section of I-20 in Ward County to be resurfaced, while crews
stripped the top surface off the Interstate just west of Pecos, in
for the start of resurfacing that section of highway.
“There’s about 30 miles of I-20 under construction
now,” Larum said. Because of the work, speed restrictions and lane
the area will be common throughout the late spring and summer. “We
we didn’t have to do this, but it’s something we have to get done.”
Shrimp Fest short of teams, but attendance
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
The cook-off contest
the Balmorhea Shrimp Festival was short of contestants this year, but
than that the Memorial Day weekend event went very well, according to
According to cook-off
Michael Peacock, the competition was canceled due to a lack of
participants. “We had the team made up
of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Saucedo from Fort Stockton show up on time, but
teams arrived too late for entry.”
added that the Saucedo’s went ahead an cooked their special shrimp
was “excellent,” but said that he was a little disappointed that the
two teams didn’t arrive in time.
“I think with the
everything, there was just too much going on,” Peacock said. “People just couldn’t get it together in
Kelly Rowden, with
Shrimp of Imperial, said the contest usually had attracted between six
eight entries during its first three years. Heavy rains that hit last
festival may also have contributed to the lower turnout this time
Peacock said that the
were to be given away as prizes would be held until the fall, when a
festival is being planned sometime before the start of school.
Rowden and his crew
of nine workers had their own tent set up next to the canal in downtown
Balmorhea to sell shrimp on Saturday, one of about a dozen food and
vendors who participated in this year’s event.
“When we get ready for the dance it will pick up a
Rowden said Saturday afternoon. “We’ve already sold quite a bit of
we sold more frozen shrimp this year.”
Permian Sea Shrimp was also selling shrimp kabobs
wraps, with cream cheesed-stuffed jalapeńos wrapped in bacon, to
the Shrimp Festival.
Peacock said the overall turnout for this past
about normal, even if the number of teams cooking was lower than in the
“Other than that the
really well. We had a good turnout
throughout the day, and a crowd of around 600-700 people for the street
Saturday night,” Peacock said. “The
band was really good and ended up ending around 12:30 a.m.”
and Norman Roman, did a real good job putting the festival together,
festival had an excellent group of sponsors who we owe a lot of thanks
Peacock said. I
Included in Saturday’s
sponsor are: CarQuest, Peggy Walker with Needleworks, Reeves County
Farms in Balmorhea, A1 Motors, Western Package, Grady’s Western Supply,
Fina, Circle Bar in Balmorhea, Travis and Kimberly Johnson, Crider
City pool, miniature golf open for summer
It’s summertime and the Town of Pecos City has already come up with
things for the youngsters to do during their summer vacation.
The city pool at Maxey Park opened for the summer this week, and will
open every day, except Monday, from 1:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Cost is $1 for 12 and under and $2 for youngsters and adults over the
To rent the pool for a party, individuals are
asked to call City Hall, at
The Miniature Golf Course located on the northeast
side of Maxey Park is
for the summer season. Hours are from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., Friday,
Cost to enter and play a round is $1 for everyone.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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