Transportation

TxDOT: No Issues With Bridge Railing In Fatal Bus Crash In Houston

Officials at the state agency in charge of maintaining freeways said they are continuing a review to see if something different needs to be installed.

Two students were killed September 15 when an HISD school bus crashed through a guard rail on South Loop at Telephone Road. Two other students were seriously hurt in the crash. The driver was treated at a hospital and released.

The railing was installed in 1970 and it was last inspected in 2014.

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Crews remove the HISD bus involved in the fatal bus crash

According to TxDOT’s preliminary investigation, it performed the way it was designed. But while the railing is not up to current design standards, it does meet safety requirements, said Raquel Lewis, a spokeswoman with TxDOT.

“Because something is not at the current standard it does not mean it’s obsolete,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t mean that it’s insufficient.”

The spokeswoman said just because something is older, that doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced right away.

“When you have newer standards they’re often a build-upon on previous standards,” Lewis explained. “Sometimes those standards change because of cost-efficiency. Sometimes they change because of technology.”

Lewis said TxDOT is continuing its review to see if they need to install something different. Crews have now done temporary repairs and they should have a permanent fix in place in the next few weeks.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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