McLennan County to replace damaged bridge in Lorena

Posted at 8:46 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 21:46:54-05

Folks in one fast-growing Lorena subdivision find themselves cut off from their neighbors because of a problem with a bridge.

The bridge in the 400 block of N Crooked Creed Road is in such bad shape, the county has closed it while engineers study what to do next.

It’s important, because subdivisions have begun popping up along some of the old county roads... putting a bit of a strain on roads and bridges that weren't built to handle heavy traffic.

Now, county road crews identified the problem and a fix is on the way.

Kenny Lomenzo feels a little cut off from his neighbors after McLennan County closed off the bridge just outside his driveway.

He's actually a little glad because he says the little bridge always seemed a little "dodgy."

"I remember when I was a little kid, and we had to ride the bus and the bus couldn't come down here because of the bridge, so we would be dropped off all the way down there and have to walk back," Lomenzo said.

Years of water moving under this bridge caused all kinds of erosion, that eventually got the attention of McLennan County road crews who stay on the lookout constantly for problems like this.

”Our road and bridge crews are traveling all the county roads every day and looking for roads that need to be repaired and bridges that need to be repaired,” said McLennan County Engineer Zane Dunnam.

And they have no doubt, the bridge needs work, and badly. The wooden supports have collapsed and one section of the bridge collapsed into the creek.

Dunnam says the county will look at its options and likely replace this old, wooden bridge with something much sturdier.

”We probably won't go back to wood. We'll probably go back with concrete so it'll be a stronger bridge, stronger and hopefully can widen it to, currently it's a one-lane bridge, hopefully, we can go back to two lanes,” Dunnam said.

Dunnam says this bridge doesn't even qualify as a bridge under Texas standards. He aims to change that, and maybe even get it on the state inspection list.

And all that makes Lomenzo, a very happy man.

”I think it will be really nice once they get it done so the buses can come down here and drop off,” Lomenzo said.

Before any work can get started, Dunnam needs to know if the ground around the bridge can support the work that they need to do. The county may have to buy some land around it to build the newer, bigger bridge.

Dunnam estimates the price tag could run as much as a quarter million dollars.

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