Bridge Project - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/10/07 - Lufkin

Bridge Project

by Tashun Chism

The bridge that connects Angelina County and Trinity County on State Highway 94 over the Neches River is one of the oldest in East Texas. It's also one of five the Texas Department of Transportation plans to replace. And while some people want it to stay, many believe it's far too old and dangerous to preserve.

"There were some people present from the historical commission and they did voice some concerns about the historic bridge, but it's just not feasible to preserve it," said TxDOT engineer David Collmorgen.

"We need to replace these bridges. They're narrow. There've been fatalities in the past. And we've had to repair several of the bridges over the years," said Lufkin TxDOT Director Cheryl Flood.

After several studies, TxDOT officials have finally decided on a plan to replace the old bridges. The plan is to build new bridges south of the current ones.

"It has the least impact to the traveling public and it can be constructed quicker. And it's just a safer method for them to be constructed," Flood told us.

TxDOT officials will then open the new bridges and roadway for drivers and tear down the old ones.

"It will minimize inconvenience to the traveling public. They'll just keep driving where they're at until we complete the new construction," Collmorgen said.

If everything goes as planned, they hope to begin construction early next summer.  The project will cost about $15.4 million and will take about two and half years to finish.

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