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Residents ask to create more access to Loma Alta neighborhood

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:02 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - People living along Highway 359 say they are being denied access to their homes and they are now asking for something to be done.

“This is an important issue because our neighborhood has only one entrance and exit. The access is to 359. Whether this lack of access to our neighborhood leaves us with very little to be accessed in case of an emergency. First responders will not be able to get to us or leave our neighborhood.”

Victor Vasquez stood among a group of protesters saying they were from the Lomas Alta neighborhood and were upset about the current exits surrounding the area, or rather, the lack thereof.

“We only have one entrance to the neighborhood and now it’s closed,” said Jose A. Salinas, another resident. “We have to go all the way to the right over there, then go back over there- turn where the light is over there, then turn here.”

“There have been times when there’s flooding on Chacon Creek, that’s the only direction we can turn to,” said Vasquez. “Worst case scenario, in case of flooding where you can go and we were not provided notice of the construction.”

As signatures continue to be collected, they are still looking for two access points along Highway 359 that’s between Highway 83 and Dorel Drive.

“Right now, we’re working on meeting an agreement,” said Raul Leal. “That project, which is a safety project, when we do a project like this, we look at analysis and potential points of conflict that can cause unsafe conditions for motorists. But we’re still working and so we’re on the project.”

Raul Leal, with the Texas Department of Transportation, refutes the claims that the project has been abandoned and says they’re trying to find a resolution.

“In particular, at the entrance in question, we are looking at a redesign to the entrance of that neighborhood to try and get a little bit of a better flow of the traffic coming out of the neighborhood.”

Until new entrances open up, protesters say they want to be heard.

“Most importantly, it’s not just the Lomas Alta subdivision, but our neighbors to the south and neighbors to the right, which is a business. They deal with a lot of commercial businesses is we know how important that is for commercial vehicles to have access to this kind of highway.”

Over a hundred signatures were collected in protest, but officials at TxDot are asking for patience.

They say it’s a safety issue so they’re looking at the best options available.

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