AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was a typical commute on North Lamar Boulevard taking a tumble for the worse.
Rocks tumbling from above the bridge that’s used by Union Pacific and Amtrak, cracking the windshield on David Starr’s car.
“Suddenly as I got underneath the bridge, rocks were raining down from above,” he said. While waiting for police to arrive on the scene, Starr parked his car in place and directed traffic away from where the rocks came down.
“Popped the flashers on, got outside and flagged traffic around,” he said. “My main concern was staying there and ensuring the safety of anybody else driving through.”
Police arrived on the scene and stopped traffic in the northbound lane of Lamar each time a train went over the tracks.
After all the rocks were swept away, the road was back open on Friday.
Austin Public Works said it’s in touch with Union Pacific, which owns the bridge.
Union Pacific sent a statement to KXAN and said the bridge is structurally sound, and it inspects its bridges twice a year. It also mentioned there’s a plan to mitigate a minor ballast leak, which requires another road closure.
Yet, David Starr still has concerns this may happen again.
“The rocks coming down while I was stopped in traffic was one thing, but somebody else driving through, there could have been a serious injury,” he concluded.
Starr said he’s filing a claim with Union Pacific, hoping it’ll foot the bill for his windshield repair.
Union Pacific is waiting on the City of Austin to approve the North Lamar road closure. Once it is given the green light, the work can begin.