After extensive inspections and consultations with the department's bridge engineers, the district has determined the best course of action is to replace the bridge.
The bridge was already scheduled for replacement in 2017, and moving the project forward will address the recent damages and also provide an improved structure. Preliminary plans call for a one-span bridge with retaining walls to maximize the "clear zone" distance from the I-20 main lanes to the bridge columns.
Design of the new structure is under way, and the project is expected to go out for bids this winter with construction to begin soon thereafter. Specific time frames and costs are still being determined.
The existing bridge will be demolished and removed to expedite the replacement project and allow both lanes of westbound I-20 to be opened. The outside lane has been closed since the collision.
Because the bridge will be replaced, the current detour for US 84 eastbound traffic will require pavement repairs and strengthening due to increased traffic, particularly from trucks. This work is expected to be completed by early November at an estimated cost of $238,000.
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