Was the guardrail in the school bus crash up to regulation?

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A concern the public has expressed after the horrific bus crash Tuesday morning is the city’s guardrail system. Was the guardrail on the 610 South Loop Bridge up to date with regulations? 

The Texas Department of Transportation has what they call a “Bridge Railing Manual” that was most recently updated in 2014. Within this manual are numerous guidelines that are kept up-to-date for the protection of the community.  It comes down to size, strength, design, and crash test requirements. All of these factors determine what type of railing is needed on a bridge like this.

Taking a look at the guardrail in this particular case, it is uncertain whether or not it adheres to the bridge guardrail guidelines of 2015. Unfortunately, the Texas Department of Transportation is currently conducting an inspection on the bridge.

"General information I can provide at this time is that all bridge-rails on the state system in the Houston District range between 36-42 inches in height and all bridges are inspected by TxDOT at least every two years,” said Raquelle Lewis, the manager of communications at TXDOT. “The last inspection of the 610 South Loop bridge at Telephone was conducted in 2014.”

Taking a look at the guardrails across the state, there is a lot of inconsistency when it comes to structure material, size, and strength.  We are waiting to here from TXDOT on whether or not the guardrail involved in the bus crash that killed two students was up to date with 2015 regulations.

”Whether the bridge was safe or up to standard is not in question,” said Lewis “ We are committed to exploring all factors related to the roadway infrastructure as it relates to this accident.”