FM 457 Bridge Replacement Project
The FM 457 swing bridge in Sargent is in need of replacement because of its age and the high maintenance costs associated with its upkeep. TxDOT is proposing to replace the swing bridge with a concrete bridge that would span the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to provide access for residents on the south side of the waterway.
The replacement bridge is in the conceptual design and environmental study stage. TxDOT is proposing a “corkscrew bridge” to replace the swing bridge. The limited space along FM 457, combined with the height requirement for a replacement structure to accommodate barge traffic through the waterway, makes the corkscrew bridge the optimal design for the site.
Why the need for a new bridge
A new swing bridge is not being considered because of several factors, including:
- It would restrict access across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway for roughly 15 minutes each time the bridge opened to allow barge traffic to pass through
- Restricted access poses problems for emergency personnel and others who need timely, reliable access across the bridge
- Maintenance costs are high
The project is just beginning preliminary environmental and design processes, which usually take a few years to complete. TxDOT held a citizen workshop in the fall of 2013 to get feedback from the community on preliminary design options and will continue to involve citizens during the environmental study process.