Guardrails damaged by wrecks in Abilene totaled $1.3 million in 2017

In 2017, there were 870 guardrails damaged by vehicle wrecks in Abilene, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The total cost of repairs for the damaged guardrails was $1.3 million.

Guardrails are meant to keep drivers from going into dangerous off-limit areas, and when they’re damaged, TxDOT has to repair them for the safety of drivers.

When a guardrail is damaged by a vehicle wreck, TxDOT will determine the responsible party by using police reports.

MaryBelle Olson with TxDOT said when they’re unable to track the person responsible, they have to pay for it.

"It's a cost that TxDOT has to incur because the safety of the traveling public is the priority for TxDOT,” Olson said. “So we want to make sure that the roadways are maintained as safe as possible."

For every damaged guardrail, Olsen said it costs approximately $1,500 to repair each one that has suffered damage.

If you hit a guardrail and cause damage to it, TxDOT can take the money needed to repair the guardrail from your insurance.

When it’s a hit and run case that causes the guardrail to get damaged, TxDOT will pay for it.

Olson said out of the $1.3 million spent on Abilene guardrail repairs in 2017, just over $300,000 was paid by drivers’ insurance.

"It impacts the maintenance budget and it impacts time that contractors could be working in other locations and making repairs to other structures than the guardrail," Olsen said.

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