KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Kilgore College is moving forward with plans to replace the pedestrian bridge that was struck by an 18-wheeler more than a year ago.
Chris Craddock, assistant director of marketing for KC, said Wednesday the college expects to go through the bidding process for construction sometime in the next few months.
In April 2019, a semi truck carrying an oversized load struck the underside of the old bridge that crossed over Business U.S. 259. The impact compromised the bridge’s structural integrity, and the Texas Department of Transportation deemed it unsafe.
TxDOT crews removed the bridge in May 2019, and an electronic crosswalk was installed four months later.
“What they have constructed here with the red lights is the best option for now; but, obviously, with a new pedestrian bridge, it will be the absolute best option for students to cross the roadway safely," Craddock said.
Earlier this year, the KC Board of Trustees awarded the engineering job to Halff Associates, according to documents on the website of the college’s Procurement Services Office.
“It was always our plan to make sure that a new bridge was built — mainly for student safety crossing 259 because we have hundreds of students that cross 259 every day," Craddock said. "It’s still in the very preliminary stages of design, but we are expecting in the next few months to have a contractor hired and get work going on the bridge.”
Halff Associates has presented examples of what the new bridge could look like, and Craddock said they’re looking at several designs but want something that will represent the college.
“They want to make sure the bridge is Kilgore —is Kilgore College. That when you see it, you know that it’s Kilgore College. So, a lot of aspects are going into the design of it,” he said. “It’s not just a bridge, but it’s going to be a landmark for our college.”
The new bridge will be paid for by the college’s insurance, according to Craddock.