The Texas Department of Transportation has informed the City of New Braunfels that the $4.5 million dollar San Antonio St. Bridge project is significantly complete and will reopen to traffic on July 15th, weather permitting.
Preparations for the bridge reconstruction project began in August of 2019 followed by the full closure of the bridge on September 3rd, 2019. Once closed, TXDOT contractor Capital Excavation began the work to upgrade the structural and safety aspects of the bridge while retaining its historical ambiance and architecture. These improvements include widening the bridge from 30-feet to 48-feet, making way for 15-foot vehicle lanes with shoulders, 8-foot wide sidewalks for pedestrians on each side of the bridge, and a 1-foot area for the bridge rail.
The original bridge, which was built in 1923, lacked shoulders and only had narrow sidewalks that posed safety risks for pedestrians and drivers. Additionally, the weight limit on the original bridge could not support heavier vehicles, including emergency response vehicles, which impacted response times. With the completion of this project, those heavier vehicles can now safely cross the bridge and there is now ample space for vehicles and pedestrians.
Although the bridge will be open to traffic, Capital Excavation does still have some cleanup items to complete on the project, although that final work should not affect vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
Initially, the bridge was scheduled to open by the end of 2020, but with construction innovations learned from other historical structures, Capital Excavation and TxDOT were able to substantially reduce the completion date on this project. The details for a potential dedication ceremony are still pending. For more about the San Antonio St. Bridge project, log on to www.nbtexas.org/bridge.