Highway workers are gearing up to make improvements that will keep traffic moving on one of Southeast Texas’ most important bridges. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says the project will help prepare the Neches River Bridge (Purple Heart Memorial Bridge) to handle traffic during the upcoming reconstruction project scheduled later this year.
The project involves repairing sections of the westbound lanes of the bridge that are prone to developing potholes. Repairing those areas is vital because the westbound section of the bridge will handle both east and westbound lanes during the complete reconstruction of the bridge.
Beginning Friday night at 9 p.m. (June 22) Williams Brothers, the project contractor, will close the westbound middle and left lanes of the bridge. Work will continue throughout the weekend ending a.m. Monday. Workers will remove and replace pothole-prone sections of pavement. TxDOT says reinforcing those areas means less likelihood of having a lane closure due to a pothole during the reconstruction phase. TxDOT is warning motorists to drive safely through the work zone and to watch for workers and stopped vehicles.
The weekend work is a prelude to the much larger project to replace the bridge. The project is scheduled to begin later next month. The first five months of the project will involve installing high-mast lighting. Later this fall, worker will switch traffic on the bridge to begin the reconstruction phase.