Construction on I-35 taking costly toll on cars, drivers say

Potholes, flying debris causing damage to vehicles

SAN ANTONIO – A project meant to bring relief to drivers along a busy corridor of Interstate 35 instead seems to be causing headaches for some.

The project, overseen by the Texas Department of Transportation, is labeled as the Interstate 35 Northeast Expansion (NEX).

It stretches along more than nine miles on both sides of the interstate, from Loop 410 to FM 3009.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2027, includes installing a series of flyovers and elevated lanes, among other upgrades.

Right now, though, people have taken to social media and reached out to KSAT 12 News to complain about damage to their vehicles which they say has been caused by huge potholes and flying debris.

Patricia Richardson said she has had the windshields on two different cars shattered by gravel flying at her in that area.

“Every morning, there are pebbles hitting my car. I feel like gunshots are hitting me,” she said. “That’s coming from the construction. I’ll see them working on the construction site, but I don’t see anyone cleaning up.”

KSAT 12 News took a drive through the area one day in early February and found huge ruts in the road, creating a jolting and bumpy ride.

Despite repeated requests by email, text messages and phone calls for an interview with a TXDOT spokesperson, none was granted.

Instead, a spokeswoman, Laura Lopez, sent a written statement last Friday afternoon:

Due to recent inclement weather, TxDOT has seen an increase in the formation of potholes on several major corridors, including I-35 in northeast Bexar County. Pavement concerns within the I-35 NEX Central project are being addressed as quickly as possible. Due to the large size of the project, the plan of action to repair potholes across the 40 miles of corridor will require a multi-phase operation. This week, crews completed a mill and overlay operation for portions of I-35 and I-410. A secondary operation is being planned to identify, prioritize, and repair additional portions of I-35, I-410 and Loop 1604 within the I-35 NEX project. Safety is TxDOT’s top priority, and we are committed to completing these repairs in a timely manner.

In a follow-up email, Lopez said the work to repair the road surface had been completed “in some areas” that week.

On a second visit through the area this week, we noticed patches of roadway that appeared to have been resurfaced recently.

Other areas were still showing signs of being milled, or grated in preparation for the application of a smoother layer of concrete.

Lopez said although TXDOT is overseeing the project, the work is being conducted by a private contractor.

She said drivers with damaged vehicles could submit claims for reimbursement through TXDOT, which would then pass them on to the contractor.

Richardson was glad to hear the news.

“I have two windows to pay for, over $500 each,” she said.

Still, Richardson worries this could become a regular occurrence for her as she travels daily from her home in Selma to downtown San Antonio.

She said she would like to see construction crews sweeping up the area, at least on a weekly basis.

Lopez said the contractor currently sweeps up debris on a monthly basis.

Anyone who wants to file a claim for damage should contact TXDOT.

Lopez said the process can be completed on the agency’s website by clicking here.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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