ORLA – Reconstruction of the RM 652 bridge over Salt Creek is scheduled to begin the week of Monday, July 24, 2017. The bridge is located about 5.7 miles west of Orla.
Construction of the bridge will be done in phases in order to keep it open to traffic and minimize delays to travel times. This is necessary because of the extremely rural location of the bridge. Closing the bridge completely would significantly increase travel times due to lengthy detours.
Despite the rural location, TxDOT urges motorists to follow all traffic laws. Driver behavior will be a huge factor in providing safety for the construction crews. Motorists are required by law to obey any warning signs and/or flaggers encountered in the work zone.
During construction, lane closures will be necessary. A temporary traffic signal will put in place to regulate traffic through the work zone. Motorists are reminded that the temporary signal carries all the legal weight of permanent signals and violations may result in citations. Violations will also likely lead to crashes since only one lane will be carrying traffic in both directions in an alternating pattern.
The speed limit in the work zone will be reduced to 45 miles per hour. Again, violations of this speed limit may result in citations being issued.
During construction, several load restrictions will be in place. A width restriction of 12 feet will be in place during construction. A height restriction of 14 feet will also be in place.
The bridge has had weight restrictions on it since October 2015. The bridge is limited to legal weight loads, so loads weighing more than 80,000 pounds are not permitted to cross the bridge until it is completely rebuilt. The limits were put in place after TxDOT noted wear on the bridge that indicated stress from heavy commercial traffic. Short-term repairs were made in early 2016. Rebuilding the bridge is a long-term answer.
The bridge construction is scheduled to be substantially completed by mid-February 2018. A final road surface will put down in mid-May. The break between phases is necessary because of the need for warmer temperatures for laying the material that constitutes the final road surface.
The project will also proceed with due diligence for wildlife and environmental concerns.
Gilvin-Terrill Ltd., of Amarillo, won the project with a low bid of a little more than $4.5 million.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.