KINGSLAND, Texas (KXAN) — It’s been three months since floodwaters washed away the RM 2900 bridge in the town of Kingsland.
Crews have worked around the clock since November to build a new bridge because for residents, it was the main thoroughfare.
“It’s definitely something people count on around here,” Paul Fix said, a Kingsland homeowner who lives a block away from the ongoing bridge construction.
A sign of hope that normalcy will soon be restored, crews will erect the first 10 beams — 80 feet long — along the two bridge spans on Thursday.
“This bridge is being drilled, the shafts and the columns are going deeper so we are actually drilling down into the granite so we will have a very good solid foundation once this bridge is built, it should withstand a lot,” Diann Hodges, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson, said.
Once this section is completed, the deck will follow and crews will continue repeating the process until they complete the less than half-a-mile, but much needed, Kingsland bridge.
“You look across this river, this portion of the lake, and it doesn’t look that far but when you need to get across to services, restaurants, and families it is a distance and you have to drive around,” Hodges said.
TxDOT officials expect the construction of the bridge to be completed by April — five months after construction began.
“It’s good that they’re moving right along and they’re not taking their time — years and years or something,” added Fix.
However, it hasn’t been easy. Crews faced some obstacles since construction began, including debris below the lake’s bed surface and the recent drawdown of Lake LBJ water levels by the Lower Colorado River Authority that affected barge movements.
The two agencies are now working together to maintain water levels so it’s easier for crews to get bridge construction work done.
“This is really key to bringing that community back together again and it’s a priority for us and we know it’s a priority for them as well,” Hodges said.
The new bridge will be wider and higher consisting of 12-foot travel lanes, 6-foot shoulders, and a 6-foot sidewalk.
These improvements will make the RM 2900 bridge five feet higher than the previous one.