Saturday, December 12, 2015

President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) is Hazardous

December 9, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

The commuters plying on the newly constructed President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) may bear me out that some of its segments are bumpy and uneven causing rude jerks and shake-ups to the speeding vehicles. 

The major faulty portion of this otherwise immensely useful highway starts from the precincts of the Irving city or precisely when it crosses over the State Highway 183 and up to the point when it joins with I-35.

The cars and other vehicles get jolt after jolt and tilt on the spots where the surface is depressed or elevated from the normal surface. All of a sudden the bump or uneven patch would rock the vehicle shaking the passengers rudely. 

The kind of smooth surface that one can find on I-30 or I-20 is sparse on the PGBT and may look like an oasis in the wilderness. It surmises that a portion of this 62 miles long traveling artery has been subjected to the faulty workmanship. 

After the commissioning of the 8th segment of PGBT in December 2011, this highway has been repaired intermittently. Later its faulty surface with bulging or protruding bumps has been smoothened and leveled by grinding or slashing. That repair work continues since 2011 particularly on the segment linking State Highway 183 with I-35. 

But it seems that it would be utterly difficult to bring the surface on an even keel as that would be tantamount to spending several millions more dollars on such a venture. As a matter of fact this faulty portion needs a new layer of resurfacing to make it smooth and jerk-free.

One might conjecture that the underneath base or foundation of the Turnpike has not been solidified enough to save it from sinking or getting depressed on various sections. That is the reason that at many places the surface is pressed below and which causes sudden jerks to the speeding automobiles both cars and trucks. At the faulty places whether depressed or bulged, the overtaking of other vehicles seems to be a daunting task.

This Turnpike has been dedicated to George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States of America and rightly so. Its importance is like the main blood carrying artery in the human body. 

But poor quality of construction and ensuing jerky driving overshadows its pristine objective which is to provide a sort of wider and safer highway to all the main cities along the route and thus saving the time of the commuters.

The Turnpike passes through three Texas counties viz.Dallas, Collin and Denton and nine Dallas suburbs Rowlett, Sachse, Garland Richardson, Plano, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Irving and Grand Prairie. Its segment IX would be extended to Garland and Mesquite and is currently at the planning stage. The final segment X would be started tentatively in 2030.

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) that operates this Turnpike and its maintenance agency Roy Jorgensen Associates should take urgent heed of the defects being developed in this extremely vital link between various cities in Dallas and devise a strategy to repair those spots that hinder the smooth flow of the traffic on PGBT. 

If neglected and left unattended its viability and efficacy might further be eroded. The cost would go up astronomically in subsequent times if left as such.

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