By SANDRA ELLINGTON The Associated PressAUSTIN, Texas (AP) A traffic jam has closed Interstate 45 for days as some drivers opt for alternatives to filling up at gas stations.
A Texas woman whose car was stuck in the jam since Sunday said she’ll likely never see her car again.
Karen Ann Pritchard has a new car and said she has no idea how she ended up stuck in traffic, which is the second time she’s been stuck in a jam.
“It’s the most frustrating thing that I’ve ever had to go through in my life,” Pritcher said.
Her daughter said she knows the road is not paved, and she has been able to get around, but it’s still frustrating.
“I have no idea why that would have happened,” said her daughter, who asked not to be named because she’s afraid of retribution.
“We’re stuck, it’s just a really frustrating situation.”
Pritchard said she is considering legal action against the city, the Texas Department of Transportation and the state’s Tollway Authority, which owns the highway.
She said the toll roads’ management is “incompetent” and that the city has not made repairs.
Pritcher’s husband, a nurse, has been stuck for two days, too.
She says they have nowhere to park.
“This is one of the worst traffic jams that I have ever been through,” she said.
A new car arrives at a gas station near the intersection of I-45 and I-35 in Austin, Texas, on July 23, 2020.
The jam has become a new regular event, causing backups and congestion as people wait in line to fill up at pump stations.
Drivers can also get out of their cars and try to avoid traffic jams on busy streets.
Agency spokesman Greg Clanton says the Texas Tollway is still investigating why the highway has been so hard to move cars.
Tollway spokesman Mike Bowers said in an email that the agency has “been aware of the congestion and delays associated with this issue for some time and have been working diligently to ensure that the toll road is fully staffed.”
The Texas Tollways is in charge of the highway, which carries more than 80,000 vehicles per day, and is responsible for tolls on the state highway system.
The agency has been working with the Texas Transportation Department to determine why some drivers are stuck, and has been encouraging drivers to stay off the road until the problems are resolved.
The state highway authority says drivers should expect delays to come.© Copyright 2020 The Associated Statesman, All Rights Reserved.
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