In 2008, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) project to bring all ADA facilities up to current standards statewide.
Five of the nine counties in the Brownwood district will have ADA ramps built. San Saba County will have a total of 59 ramps in all at various locations on US 190, SH 16 and FM 1031, on FM 45 in Richland Springs and on FM 501 at SH 16 in Cherokee. In some areas, existing ramps will be removed and replaced with ramps that are compliant with current standards.
Lampasas Area Engineer, Tom Dahl, explains,“ADA ramps that were installed some years ago no longer meet federal standards and we will replace them with ones that do. TxDOT strongly supports the ADA. Our mission is to work cooperatively to provide safe, effective and efficient movement of people and goods. We are committed to creating an open and accessible environment that benefits everyone.”
TxDOT is responsible for building and maintaining the 80,000 mile highway system in the State of Texas. But the responsibility does not stop there. Every aspect of the effective and efficient movement of people and goods is part of TxDOT’s obligation to the public. That obligation includes the construction of pedestrian facilities that allow for people with disabilities.
With specific guidelines to follow, TxDOT is required by law to remove all barriers that impede access and provide ADA compliant entries on all its facilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a landmark law that protects civil rights and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. It is designed to ensure that all Americans have the same access to facilities and services.
ADA ramps are primarily found at road intersections and in many cases are not attached to a sidewalk. The purpose is to provide a safe and accessible place for pedestrians to get out of the traffic lane.
Lampasas area office will oversee the Brownwood district project. Interstate Improvement, Inc., of Fairbault, MN., was awarded the $1.2 million contract that is expected to be complete during the summer of 2009.