Local Residents Square Off Against Pile of Dirt


Dump Truck With Dirt | Image by NBC DFW

Farmers Branch residents are complaining about a huge pile of dirt next to their homes near Interstate 635 LBJ Freeway, NBC 5 reported.

Some residents have claimed the dust coming off of the mound is making them sick.

The dirty problem is a result of an 11-mile construction project on the freeway, which, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), will expand general-purpose lanes as well as existing toll lanes.

The dirt, which is being stored on a state-owned property near the freeway, is used as fill material at a separate construction project off Interstate 35E in Farmers Branch.

However, residents angrily complained at the Farmers Branch City Council meeting Tuesday. TxDOT officials were also on hand.

“It should never have been put behind a neighborhood,” Amanda Garza, Farmers Branch resident, told NBC 5. “It’s not just my neighborhood, it’s neighborhoods this way, that way, they get hit with it as well. They’re having the same issues.”

Garza claimed she had heard trucks kicking up dust outside her house, but the dust had also been flying from atop the existing pile, making its way inside her house. She even noticed dirt covering her furnace filter.

“When I saw the AC filter, that’s when it clicked in my mind,” Garza said. “This is all connected. The allergies, the asthma, the everything. It just was like a light bulb.”

TxDOT’s website said the construction is necessary because I-635 East was only built to accommodate 180,000 cars a day, but the average traffic is now 230,000 a day, ranking the road in the top 30 most congested highways in Texas.

“The project is designed to relieve congestion, provide local connectivity and improve safety,” the website reads.

Project Deputy Director for Lone Star Constructors Travis Kralicke told NBC 5 that the placement of the dirt at that specific location was because of its proximity to the two construction projects and suggested that it saved taxpayer money.

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