Work to raise, replace US 59 overpass over I-20 in Marshall, Texas, expected to begin in October

New span will be about 9 feet higher and will have sidewalks for pedestrian and bicycle traffic
(Source: Gray TV photo illustration)
(Source: Gray TV photo illustration)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:26 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) — A contractor is expected to begin work in October to replace the U.S. Highway 59 overpass over Interstate 20 in Marshall, Texas, with a higher span.

The $11.9 million contract that East Texas Bridge was awarded Aug. 4 shows the Longview, Texas, company has 440 working days to finish the project.

Wendy Starkes, area engineer for TxDOT in Marshall, said the work will take about 2.5 years to complete.

“The current overpass will be demolished and replaced one half at a time with a higher structure,” Starkes explained. “We will also be raising the new structure about three feet to allow for more than 19 feet of clearance over the I-20 traffic lanes.”

The interstate has been deemed a critical corridor for freight movement across Texas; and several years ago, the state raised the clearance level on the bridges to accommodate increasing freight traffic, said Heather Deaton, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Atlanta District.

A study was done in East Texas on the I-20 corridor that included a lot of local officials,” she explained. “They pinpointed this bridge for modifications to raise that clearance level. So it’s going from about 16 feet up to 19 feet. The new clearance standards for bridges in Texas are 18 1/2 feet.”

The new US 59 overpass also will look a little different. There will be sidewalks for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

During construction, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The work will done one side at a time to allow motorists to continue to use the route.

“They are going to replace that bridge piece by piece,” Deaton said. “It will be down to one lane each way, so we ask the public to be patient with us all in the name of safety and progress. If motorists want to avoid that area they can use (U.S.) Highway 80.”

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt said “I-20 has become the backbone of the regional and national transportation system” over the past 47 years.

He chairs the I-20 East Texas Corridor Advisory Committee, which the Texas Transportation Commission established in August 2013 to help TxDOT assess the rural transportation needs along I-20. The panel includes 21 elected officials and other stakeholders.

The group spent 18 months providing TxDOT with information on how the interstate could be improved.

“To ensure the continued service over the next 50 years, improvements will be needed to enhance safety and mobility,” Stoudt said. “We believe a master plan has been created for the I-20 East Texas Corridor that will reduce crashes and enhance mobility for residents and visitors in the great State of Texas.”

The I-20 East Texas Corridor Study was completed in December 2014. It focused on evaluating the safety and capacity needs along the 155-mile stretch of Interstate 20 between Interstate 635 in Dallas and the Texas/Louisiana line. Below is the report about that study:

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