The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plans to build a new Nueces River bridge as part of a major construction project planned for Interstate 37, North Shore News reports. The project will focus on a section of I-37 between the Redbird Lane exit and the US-77 interchange.
“What we’re doing is what’s called lane balancing,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Rickey Dailey told the news agency. “You have several lanes coming in on US-77, you have other lanes coming in on I-37, and they kind of neck down to three lanes over the Nueces River Bridge. What we’re going to do is put an extra travel lane on the bridge so you’ll have four travel lanes.”
Dailey added that Hurricane Evacuation Route lanes would not be affected by the project.
The highway will also have four lanes in each direction, and the new bridge will be taller to help prevent flooding. Although the river has never flooded the current bridge, it has risen to within 1 foot of the bridge. “Often times, if you get heavy rains associated with a storm or a hurricane, you have brush, you have trees that knock up against the bridge,” Dailey told the news agency.
TxDOT notes that the preliminary design phase is approximately 95 percent complete, so the project should go out for bids this summer. Work is expected to start in the fall with a completion date in 2 to 2 1/2 years.