State shuts down travel information centers

HARLINGEN — Even travelers are feeling the coronavirus pinch.

TxDOT announced Tuesday that a dozen Texas Travel Information Centers would be closed indefinitely, including the Harlingen site at 2021 W. Harrison Ave.

“TxDOT has closed the lobbies of its 12 Travel Information Centers until further notice to help combat the threat of Covid-19,” the state transportation agency said in a statement. “Outside restrooms will remain available at all times and will be regularly cleaned between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The safety rest areas on highways throughout the state remain open.”

Travelers can still speak with center counselors about road conditions or travel information between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling toll-free 1-800-452-9292 or going online to to obtain road condition information at any hour of the day.

TxDOT also said that following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the request of President Trump to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, the agency is postponing or canceling its in-person public hearings and gatherings through April 3.

This cancellation notice includes the Texas Transportation Commission meeting on March 26.

Work on state highway projects is continuing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration related to the coronavirus addressed state employees working for him beginning this week.

“Teleworking has been an option for TxDOT office-based employees for several years now, and with this temporary new directive, TxDOT will continue serving the state’s transportation needs,” the agency said.