AUSTIN (KXAN) — After rocks fell off its bridge on North Lamar Boulevard and damaged cars July 28, Union Pacific Railroad is fixing it.
Officials with the Austin Transportation Department said the agency helped with lane closures on North Lamar at Third Street, a block south of the flagship Whole Foods Market, from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday so Union Pacific could make temporary repairs to the bridge.
When the issue came up, Union Pacific told KXAN the bridge was “structurally sound,” but there was a plan to fix a minor ballast leak.
“Due to public safety concerns, Union Pacific plans to begin work [Tuesday] on the railroad bridge over North Lamar Boulevard,” the railroad company said in a statement received Monday by KXAN. “We are taking this emergency action to try and secure the top of the structure to prevent rocks and other debris from falling onto the roadway below the bridge.”
ATD said the temporary fix should be done by 5 p.m. Tuesday and a permanent fix by Union Pacific is planned for later this month. There will be a social media post when alerting drivers, because lanes will also be closed then.
Union Pacific said it inspects all the bridges it owns twice a year, and while it looked like pieces of the bridge were falling on the road, that wasn’t the case. Officers from the Austin Police Department stopped traffic while trains were using the bridge the night the rocks first started falling.
KXAN spoke to a driver who had his car damaged by some of the rocks, and he said he’s going to file a claim with the railroad for his cracked windshield.