WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — You’ve probably had to change up your route due to that construction on US 287 over Holliday Creek and Old Jacksboro Highway, and you may have to take that detour for a little while longer as TXDOT continues that bridge repair work.
“The contract that included the work on these bridges actually began back in January,” Texas Department of Transportation Wichita Falls District Engineer Michael Beaver said. “Of course it included a lot of work – a million dollars worth of bridge repair and rehabilitation.”
Beaver said several factors are the reason for the now more than six-month long delay, one being the weather, and another being a recent bridge mishap.
“Another thing that impacted our work was the damage that occured on the Sixth Street bridge on northbound I-44 because it was the same contractor that was performing this work that made those repairs on those bridges,” Beaver said.
Beaver said originally the project was to only take a couple of weeks, but after the first round of construction wrapped up, that’s when they noticed surface faliures on the bridges and large cracks.
“What happens is, those cracks, they’ll just continue to grow, and then next thing you know, you’ll have pieces of material that are popping up and could pose a safety hazard to the traveling public,” Beaver said.
That’s why Beaver said those detours everyone has been experiencing will have to stay in place to ensure that the repairs are made not only in a timely manner, but done correctly.
“We expect to have this work wrapped up mid-to-late June, and I expect that there will be some work going on out here later this week and possibly the first part of next week,” Beaver said. “Top priority, regardless of what we’re doing, is safety, safety of the workers and safety of the traveling public.”
For now, they just want everyone to have patience and drive safe when you’re traveling near those construction zones.
“Working hard so we can get this one open,” Beaver said. “Believe me, we want this open as bad as anyone else does.”
The construction crew is working hard to keep the roads safe for everyone.
TXDOT expects that work to wrap up sometime this month, but that could be subject to change due to weather or the contractors’ schedules.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest.