By Bailey Buckingham
Hays County and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) collaborated Monday evening to discuss with county residents plans for the reconstruction of the Post Road bridge.
Roughly 30 Hays County residents gathered to hear presentations and discussions led by Ray Whisenant, Precinct 4 commissioner and Victor Vargas, TxDOT engineer.
The Post Road Bridge was one of the many casualties during the Memorial Day flood in 2015.
A temporary bridge is currently in place at the site. If the plans to rebuild the bridge move forward, the temporary bridge will be removed and a detour will have to be put into place.
TxDOT is in-charge of the project and had representatives in attendance to answer resident’s questions and concerns. They provided exhibits for residents to view, which showed the proposed bridge design and the detours that will be put in place during construction.
Some residents inquired if there would be any vote or changes made before these plans were solidified.
“There is some room for improvement,” Vargas said. “We will take notes, vet them and see if there is anything that we need to make some changes to.”
Residents raised questions regarding the amount in funding Hays County is being allocated in order to rebuild the bridge.
The state of Texas’ Bridge Replacement Program is where the funding for the bridge will come from. These funds are allocated based on need throughout the state of Texas.
“For every dollar that is spent out of that pocket, out of that bucket, there is another bridge in another county that is not getting built,” Vargas said.
The current plans for reconstruction includes a slight expansion in the width of the bridge by approximately 6 feet. The height, however, will stay the same as the previous bridge.
Another concern raised by residents was proper signage that would need to be placed before the bridge to ward off semi-trucks from passing over it.
Just as the temporary bridge has message boards in place now, there will be plenty of signage to make it clear that they need to detour, Whisenant said.
“I haven’t caught them driving through there myself,” Whisenant said. “If I did, I would make sure I tell them to stop it.”
Vargas said they hope the bridge will be completed by this time next year.
Several residents mentioned how thankful they are for the work done by Hays County and TxDOT in regards to reconstruction plans and cleanup in that area, which was met with applause from other attendees.