Bridge closure irritates drivers, but safety concerns outweigh inconvenience

Bridge closure irritates drivers, but safety concerns outweigh inconvenience

HENDERSON CO., TX (KLTV) - The concrete that makes up a highly traveled bridge has begun to deteriorate.

The State Highway 274 bridge at the Cedar Creek Reservoir spillway is in the Henderson County area, 15 minutes west of Athens.

Of course, for safety reasons its closed off, but the cost of convenience may end up being more than the cost of repairs.

“I don’t have to go but maybe five more miles and the road is closed, and now I have to take 10 miles back before I can get to where I’m going,” driver Gwen Cano says.

When a heavy traffic roadway is shut down, drivers tend to be more concerned with their watches than their safety.

“At least open one side of the road instead of closing both sides,” Cano says.

It’s a reasonable request, but not possible in this situation.

After bridge experts just recently completed their inspection of the State Highway 271 bridge, they found that the concrete has begun to deteriorate at a single bent cap.

Bent caps are basically the entire support system of a bridge, they resist heavy loads like earthquakes or heavy wind.

The bridge inspection was done about seven miles north of State Highway 31 between Trinidad and Seven Points.

The closure was initially prompted by an exposed roadway joint.

The Texas Department of Transportation says they are preparing an emergency maintenance contract to be executed as early as February 11th, and that project should continue for close to three weeks.

TX-DOT says the integrity of the bridge has been compromised.

Drivers must use alternate routes along State Highway 334, 198, and 31.

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