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New Highway 105 Bridges dedicated between Brenham and Navasota

Three new bridges open to drivers on Highway 105 Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 2:38 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:08 PM CDT
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NAVASOTA, Texas (KBTX) - After years in the making, three new bridges on Highway 105 are finally opening. Friday morning the Brazos River Bridge was dedicated with TxDOT and local leaders on hand.

The new bridges cross Coles Creek, The Brazos and Navasota Rivers. The project saw years in delays including challenges after Hurricane Harvey and flooding in the Brazos River, which caused some engineering changes.

TxDOT also built a new roadway to connect the three bridges as the previous ones go out of service. On Tuesday, Sept. 14, TxDOT will make the traffic switch for drivers to start using the new bridges.

That entire project cost more than $34 million.

Around 6,060 vehicles travel this stretch of Highway 105 daily.

“I kept wondering, ‘When are they going to be finished? When are they going to be finished?’ And so to see it complete is really an awesome thing,” said Tina Henderson, Ph.D., a Brenham resident who is part of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Blue Blazer welcoming committee.

“I just appreciate TxDOT just really always trying to improve the safety of the roads,” she said.

Washington County’s EMS Helicopter marked the occasion with a special landing on the new Brazos River Bridge.

The Brazos River Bridge replaces the one built in 1954 and we’re told the historic plaque will be moved to the new bridge.

“Our existing bridge was dedicated in 1954 and named the ‘Neveille H. Colson Bridge’ for the state senator who was instrumental in getting the new bridge constructed at that time... Looking at the inscription, the dedication in 1954 was a joint effort of the Chambers of Commerce of Grimes, Brazos and Washington Counties along with each County’s Commissioners Court,” said Johnny McNally with the Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce.

The other two bridges are also from the 1950s.

After delays due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey and other rain events, work came to a halt in 2017, but resumed in 2019.

“Yes we had to redesign the column that’s in the Brazos River due to the changes in the river from the floods,” said Ashley Hill, TxDOT Bryan Area Engineer.

“We look forward to having it open to connect these communities together. It’s kind of the gateway between these two communities,” said Hill.

The bridges connect Brazos, Grimes and Washington Counties. County Judges from the area said the new road brings safety improvements for drivers and easier access for first responders.

“Over on the Navasota River we’re going to have an emergency boat launch for high water rescues,” said Joe Fauth, Grimes County judge.

“It’s going to be a great thing for this area. It’s not just the Washington County thing or a Grimes County thing. This is great for all the traffic that comes and goes, the commerce that travels 105,” said John Durrenberger, Washington County Judge.

Durrenberger added the most common question he’s gotten from residents is when the bridge will open.

“We’re proud of this day. We’re proud to get this bridge, these three bridges built and it’s going to open this Tuesday if everything goes according to plan,” he said.

The project started in 2014. The transition Tuesday is expected to take all day for the new roadway and three new bridges to open to drivers.

Previously TxDOT had hoped to open them in February.

At the time traffic is shifted onto the new Highway105 roadway, TxDOT says FM 159 will be fully closed at its intersection with 105. They will raise the grade of FM 159 to tie into the new Highway 105 at a lesser angle. That work is expected to take four weeks.

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