MISSION — The Bryan Road bridge over U.S. Expressway 83 will be torn down Wednesday, March 7, said Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) engineer Valente Olivarez.
Olivarez told city leaders about the demolition, which will start from the bridge’s southern end, at the council’s regular meeting on Monday.
The conversion of the Bryan Road overpass is part of a $23 million that should allow traffic from Anzalduas Highway to flow smoothly onto the expressway without stopping. The entire project was anticipated to take 22 months, of which 18 have already passed creating the main lanes and frontage roads.
During the demolition, traffic on Bryan Road traveling south and east will be redirected on the frontage road to the Conway Avenue turn around where two turn lanes for traffic (one going west to east on the frontage road and the other coming from the north turning east) was created to merge traffic safely. Northbound traffic on Bryan Road will be redirected to the Shary Road turn around in a similar scenario.
TxDOT engineer Juan Sustaita said work would be done at night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to create less problems with traffic and for safety issues. He said it would take four to six days to completely take down the bridge. During that time there will be traffic delays. Once the bridge has been removed traffic delays will stop but removal of debris from the site will last until March 16.
Construction of the east and west connections to Expressway 83 will begin with construction of the bottom decking and then the pillars. Once the pillars are completed, the top decks can be constructed. At the same time, after the bottom decking and pillars are completed, construction on the connecting road between north and south Bryan Road will begin.
During construction the frontage roads will be open. Traffic traveling east will be diverted to the frontage road at Conway Avenue, while traffic-moving west will be diverted to the frontage road at Shary Road. Traffic along Bryan Road will still be able to use the “jug handles” on the side of the existing roadway to access the expressway.
As part of the same project, an overpass on Trinity Road is being constructed. Sustaita said the overpass should be completed by next September. When that happens, traffic coming from the Anzalduas Highway will flow into and off of Expressway 83 without stopping for traffic lights. Bryan Road will connect north to south on the ground while Expressway 83 will be above.
Sustaita confirmed the timing of the project had been chosen to begin with the end of the heaviest part of the Winter Texan season this year – January and February – and to end before the beginning of Winter Texan season next year so that the least amount of traffic possible would be impacted during construction.
“Once the project is completed traffic will be moving smoothly from north to south and from east to west at the Bryan Road location,” he said.
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