Recent rainy weather combined with the routine flow of large and very large trucks navigating the Harborside Drive intersection on their way to Interstate 45 illustrate the problem in a compelling way.

The problem, which editors here have argued for years, is that the intersection is badly designed. The northward turn from Harborside to the ramp leading to I-45 is too tight for many of the large vehicles leaving the Port of Galveston.

Because of this design flaw, truck drivers are forced to jump the curb and drive their huge vehicles and heavy loads cross country until they can get straightened out.

This unnecessary necessity, over time, destroys the curbs and the landscaping the state installed at taxpayer expense.

It might even cause damage to the vehicles, although we’ve not heard anybody complaining about that.

It creates an unsightly mud hole at the main exit of the island; the one that something like 1 million tourists pass through each year. That quagmire and the associated debris and detritus mucked up in it might be the final image of Galveston that many of those visitors take home with them.

And it impedes the rest of the traveling public who are unfortunate enough to arrive at that intersection when a truck hauling something big, or a parade of trucks hauling something huge such as wind turbine blades, is attempting to thread that needle.

The Texas Department of Transportation should correct this obvious problem. It would be a simple fix, no plans needed, just make a road where the mud is.

• Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;


(3) comments

Howie Bentley

I personally have contacted TXDOT on 3 different occasions, sent them pictures of the trucks that are carrying the windmill blades (that actually stop traffic for sometimes up to 30-45 minutes) while the attempt to turn or get stuck in the mud.

As of today TXDOT has not even replied to my emails. An easy fix is to make the turn lane wider where TXDOT has plenty of access. They made the corrections on the opposite side and traffic flows coming off the freeway. Now that the galveston news has put into print something will happen?

Robert Braeking

I made that turn from Port Industrial (real estate agents notwithstanding) to I-45 for years when hauling 'nanners out of Pier 14. If the trailer tandems are set all the way forward then it is possible to do using both lanes. But 4-wheeler traffic seldom allows that and it would be an illegal load because over 34,000 pounds would be on the tandems. Turning on to Port Industrial off of I-45 is easier is you force possession of both lanes using strategic lane positioning. IMHO TXDOT is operating on the theory that 'ignorance is bliss'. I hope that they are happy.

George Croix

It has to be the forces of inertia in play with the roadway designers...doing things because that's the way they've always been done. About 2 minutes of watching vehicles, any vehicles, shows what happens when steering geometry meets corner turn geometry, further compounded by varying degrees of driver capability. It just gets amplified by size and length.
Why not use ALL of the available right of way room to put a big 'ol arc for right hand turns so even the largest vehicles can make that corner without hitting the curb.
Another 3 yards of concrete and 50 square feet of wire mesh won't break the bank, and costs less than one good ruined radial tire.
Send the engineers to the Texas City Lowes area...the southbound feeder corner at the light at 1764, where traffic wanting to turn right onto 1764 has a w-i-d-e arcing intersection bypass lane to do so, and all but the biggest Permit Loads need not worry about hitting the curb...absent the negative influence of cell phones or otherwise dumbed down drivers, of course.....
Observe, and rethink the minimum specs that do their best to get vehicles design to operate through an arc around near 90 degree, barely radiused at best, corners.

Maybe it's a conspiracy with home builders, who do the same thing with driveways.
One can design and build their own home to beat that, but we're stuck with the State oor local folks for the roadways....

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