Iconic Interstate 20 Texas Flag Installation Removed - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Iconic Interstate 20 Texas Flag Installation Removed

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    TxDOT Crews Removed Texas Flag From Hill (Raw Video)

    Texas Department of Transportation crews finished removing a Texas flag installation from a hill along Interstate 20 between Mountain Creek Parkway and Spur 408. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016)

    Texas Department of Transportation crews finished removing the colorful state of Texas outline on the Interstate 20 median in far southwest Dallas on Tuesday.

    TxDOT removed the installation over safety concerns where drivers were entering and exiting the freeway without a ramp. 

    Crews Remove Texas Flag Installation from Hill Crews Remove Texas Flag Installation from Hill

    Over the years, the feature had become such a popular attraction for photos that drivers carved a dirt pathway into the grassy area between Mountain Creek Parkway and Spur 408, ignoring several "Keep Off Median" signs on the highway's shoulder.

    Most challenging for visitors with the current arrangement is getting back on the interstate from the bumpy median shoulder without causing a crash or posing a hazard to drivers on the freeway.

    The paneling around the emblem was removed Monday afternoon. The brightly-turf that makes up the flag will be taken away on Tuesday.

    Iconic Interstate 20 Texas State Symbol Being RemovedIconic Interstate 20 Texas State Symbol Being Removed

    The colorful state of Texas outline on the Interstate 20 median in far southwest Dallas is being removed Monday.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 12, 2016)

    The installation will be turned over to the city of Grand Prairie, though what will happen to it after that remains a mystery. City spokesperson Amy Sprinkles said the installation will be kept in a city storage facility until they find it a permanent home.

    The display was built in 2010 as a Boy Scouts project, according to Ryan LaFontaine with the Texas Department of Transportation.

    LaFontaine said activity has increased so much in the last several months that TxDot had no choice but to take action.

    "We understand this emblem has been a source of pride for North Texans and all Texans for a long time now so we don’t want to take it away, we want to find a safe location so people can access this," LaFontaine said.

    Iconic I-20 Texas State Symbol Sparks Safety ConcernsIconic I-20 Texas State Symbol Sparks Safety Concerns

    The Texas Department of Transportation regrets allowing the popular Texas state symbol in the I-20 median in far southwest Dallas and refuses to install a rest area there because of safety concerns.
    (Published Friday, Sept. 30, 2016)

    Fans of the installation suggested the state turn the area into a rest area with proper exits and entrances. LaFontaine said TxDOT does not build rest areas in medians with center lane access because of safety concerns.

    The Dallas County Sheriff's Department is responsible for traffic enforcement on the interstate and Dallas police are responsible for law enforcement on the median. Information requests to both resulted in no records of significant accident history or ticket writing at the location.

    Even so, LaFontaine said the area is just too dangerous for drivers.

    On Monday, NBC 5 viewers were polled about the removal of the installation. In total, 24,036 people voted in the poll--18 percent wanted it moved somewhere else, 80 percent voted to keep it where it was and two percent wanted it removed all together. 

    Your Photos at Iconic Texas EmblemYour Photos at Iconic Texas Emblem

    NBC 5's Frank Heinz and Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

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