Construction on the San Jacinto Bridge on U.S. Highway 59 is starting in late February or early March. The project is expected to take four to six months to complete.
The work will take place on the southbound bridge. The northbound and frontage road bridges will remain open.
Danny Perez, public information officer for TxDOT, said, “Because of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, several spans, beam and decks of the southbound bridge will be taken down piece by piece and then rebuilt.”
The hurricane caused scouring on the bridge columns that are under the bridge from the river. In order to address that issue, as a temporary measure, the load limits were reduced. TxDOT initiated an emergency maintenance contract to replace several spans of the southbound side of the bridge.
Demolition of the bridge is still to be determined but will not be done with explosives.
Perez said, “TxDOT is still working on the traffic flow plan during the construction. We will still maintain multiple lanes of traffic flow going south during the construction. There will not be any disruption of traffic flow. We will work to minimize the impact on the traveling public.”
TxDOT is working with the contractor on the details on where to place the equipment, etc. The contractor is Webber Construction.
Perez said that when they have a traffic flow plan, TxDOT will put that information out to the public.
“There is no peril to the bridge now. TxDOT lowered the load limits to mitigate issues. However, we wanted to move quickly in case there was another storm event that would require closure. We want to handle this with the utmost care but do it now, not later. The northbound bridge checked out fine,” he said.
The contract is being paid for by TxDOT as a maintenance project through emergency relief funds. The cost is about $7.5 million.
Any information to update the project or closures will be posted at Houstontranstar.org.
Perez said, “We fared very well with regard to Harvey. This is one of the areas that was affected by the storm. The bridge is the main TxDOT project that resulted from Harvey.”