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Highway closure between Marfa and Alpine will mostly affect commercial traffic, officials say

From Wednesday, Dec. 15 through Dec. 22, commercial drivers will not be able to use the highway between the two towns, but non-commercial vehicles will only have to take a slight detour in the Alpine area.

By Travis Bubenik

State transportation department officials said Monday that a week-long partial closure of U.S. 90 from Dec. 15 through Dec. 22 between Marfa and Alpine will mostly affect commercial traffic.

In recent days, signs signaling the closure began popping up along the roadside between the two towns, prompting some confusion among locals because the signs did not provide much detail and seemed to suggest the highway would be closed to all traffic.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Transportation clarified that non-commercial vehicles will be able to travel on U.S. 90, with only a slight detour near Alpine.

“All commercial vehicles will have to detour through Fort Davis.” said Lauren Macias-Cervantes, a spokesperson with TxDOT’s El Paso district.

All other vehicles coming into or out of Alpine will have to take a brief detour onto Mosley Loop and Murphy Street, she said.

According to local officials, the closure is happening because of a railroad construction project in the area.

“Union Pacific Railroad is closing Hwy 90 in Alpine at the site of the recent accident involving a tractor-trailer hitting the railroad overpass as you come into Alpine,” the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

A spokesperson for the railroad said the company performed initial, temporary repairs in the immediate aftermath of that accident, but will now be working on more permanent repairs to the overpass.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.