The new toll plazas at DFW Airport are set to open in a couple of days, but one man claims the state of the art booths are too narrow for big Texas vehicles.
James Dodson said in July he went through the north end of the new toll plazas and got more than a toll charge. His side mirror on his brand new Ford F-250 hit a steel deflector that extends into the lane. It knocked the mirror out, slightly damaged the door and cost him $1,699.15.
Dodson called FOX 4's Saul Garza after DFW Airport denied his claim. He said he was bugged by the narrow lanes. They are 109 inches wide, but the deflector meant to protect the toll booth and credit card machine takes away about 5 inches.
"My truck is a standard size F-250… 104.9 inches wide, mirror to mirror," he said.
FOX 4 investigated and found glass on the ground in the same place where Dodson said his mirror broke. The steel deflector was also bent and there was damage to the concrete barriers.
"Look how many scratch marks are on this. That tells me that's a problem," Dodson said.
DFW Airport spokesman David Magana said currently drivers must stop at the old toll plazas, pay and then proceed through the new section. Orange cones are in place to alert drivers they are in a construction zone.
"What we're seeing is people start to accelerate and they are going too fast though here," Magana said.
The airport said the lanes meet standards set by the American Institute of Architects. They measure 9 feet and a few that measure 12 feet are clearly marked. In the year that the setup has been in place, Magana said claims have been minimal.
"We've had roughly 15 million vehicles move through here. The total number of complaints we've gotten is less than 40," he said.
Dodson is still asking DFW Airport to reconsider his claim and provide better signage for drivers.
"Now I fold up my mirrors if I'm going through these lanes, but not everyone knows to do that," he said.
The airport advises people to know their vehicle.
"If you have a large vehicle and you know it, use the wide lane," Magana said.
The new toll plazas will officially open later this week and with the arms going up and down, drivers will have to make a complete stop. They will no longer be able to zoom through and that could mean the end of any side mirror accidents.
KDFW FOX 4
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