Finesilver Curve at I-10, I-35 interchange being studied for traffic improvements

TxDOT says about 1 semitrailer overturns there each month

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Department of Transportation said the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 interchange, known as the Finesilver Curve, where many semitrailers overturn, is in desperate need of safety improvements.

People who work in the Finesilver Building right under the curve agree something needs to be done.

“There was one 18-wheeler rolled over there last week on its side. Traffic was getting turned around,” said David Chave, who has worked in the Finesilver Building for about six months.

For Chavez and others who work nearby, crashes on the downtown interchange have become a familiar sight. 

“Fire trucks, ambulances -- every once in a while they'll re-route the traffic going the wrong way on the curve because it's totally blocked off. There have been times when we've seen 18-wheelers on their sides,” said John Staudt, who also works in the Finesilver Building.

Staudt said the uncertainty surrounding traffic has left him bracing for the worst.

“I’m just hoping that one of them doesn't go over the barrier and go through our windows," he said.

Twenty years ago, a truck carrying hydrochloric acid overturned on the curve, causing a hazmat situation that lasted nearly 24 hours. Since then, TxDOT added numerous 25 mph speed limit signs and other warning signs. Trucks carrying hazardous materials were also prohibited.

Still, TxDOT says there is on average one semitrailer that overturns on the curve each month.

“I think they take (the curve) and they continue at the same speed, and it gets to the point where they don't realize that it's that long of a curve at that speed, and by then it's too late," said Seth Folley, who also works in the Finesilver Building.

TxDOT said that because of existing structures, including the Finesilver Building, which houses many businesses, tearing down the curve and rebuilding it is probably not an option, but officials are looking into what can be done to make it safer.

There is no word on when the traffic study will be completed, but in the meantime, drivers using the curve are being urged to heed the signs and slow down.

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