[meteorite-list] New Signs, Crossing Gates Enhance Access To Odessa Meteor Crater

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:01:34 2004
Message-ID: <200206191551.IAA21617_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


New signs, crossing gates enhance access to Odessa Meteor Crater
June 11, 2002

ODESSA, TEXAS (TxDOT) - Crossing gates and new signs at the Moss Avenue
interchange west of Odessa now provide direct interstate highway exit to the
landmark, which is the second largest meteor crater in the United States.

Crossing gates were installed Friday at the Union Pacific railroad tracks at
the Moss Avenue interchange west of Odessa and interstate signs uncovered to
direct travelers to use the Moss Avenue exit to visit the Odessa Meteor
Crater, a national landmark.

The crossing provides a direct interstate highway exit to the crater, which
is the second largest meteor crater in the United States. It is two miles
south of the interstate.

The meteor that created the crater probably hit the earth about 50,000 years
ago and has been described as weighing about 70 tons and the size of a small
car. Tom Rodman, an Odessa attorney and advocate for the crater, told Texas
folk historian Tumbleweed Smith that the meteorite impacted the earth with
such force and released so much energy that the resulting heat and explosion
completely vaporized the main mass of the meteorite.

"It had more energy than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima," according to
Rodman. "Anything within a few miles would have been destroyed."

The meteor made a crater 500 feet wide and 100 feet deep. However, only
small fragments of meteorite were found during an excavation by the
University of Texas in the 1930s.

State Representative Buddy West of Odessa persuaded the Texas Legislature to
fund a museum and visitors' center at the site, complete with living
quarters for a curator.

A Texas Department of Transportation official said that stop signs have been
installed on the Interstate 20 South Frontage Road [West Murphy Street],
allowing Moss Avenue traffic to cross without stopping.

The Duro crossing of the railroad tracks west of Moss was closed to permit
the opening of the crossing to the Odessa Meteor Crater.
Received on Wed 19 Jun 2002 11:51:52 AM PDT

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