By Chris Edwards
DAM B – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced last week that it is proposing to replace two existing bridges along US 190 with one bridge.
The TxDOT Beaumont District office rolled out the details of the proposal on its website and is allowing the public input during a virtual meeting at noon on Tuesday, March 21. The two bridges slated for replacement are the Neches River Relief Bridge and the bridge at the B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir, which spans the Tyler and Jasper county lines.
According to TxDOT, the total length of the project would span 1.11 miles, and the replacement bridge would be constructed adjacent to the north side of the existing bridges and would see the two existing bridges removed.
Also, the approach roadways and new bridge would consist of two 12-foot-wide travel lanes in each direction with 10-foot shoulders.
The Neches River Relief Bridge was built in 1940 and the bridge at Steinhagen was built between 1941 and 1943 as a custom-designed truss bridge, according to TxDOT. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and spans 1,595 feet.
According to TxDOT, no new right-of-way lane would be required and about 8.9 acres of temporary construction easements are proposed to go outside of the existing ROW.
TxDOT, in the project outline, states that the purpose of the project is to provide a “modern bridge crossing the Neches River…with a focus on providing a bridge with adequate width and height to safely accommodate transportation needs.”
TxDOT’s timetable, if the project is approved, would see a finalized design and construction plans delivered to the public in the summer of 2024, with completion estimated in early 2026. The estimated cost for the project is $30 million.
The project is one of many infrastructure projects hoping to see fruition through a record $85 billion package approved by TxDOT last August to address safety, congestion, rural connectivity and preserving Texas roadways throughout the next decade.
In a news release, Gov. Greg Abbott said that the spending measure, titled the United Transportation Program, is crucial for the state’s needs. “As more people move to Texas and businesses grow across the state, we are working together to make sure Texans’ transportation safety and mobility are secured,” Abbott said.
TxDOT is inviting the public to call its Beaumont District office at 409-898-5732 concerning the project. The public can also view environmental documentation and register for the virtual meeting on the project through TxDOT’s website, txdot.gov.