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New Highway 105 bridges to now open next year

Published: May. 2, 2019 at 5:56 PM CDT
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A big bridge project spanning three counties is starting up again after years of delays.

Work on the Highway 105 bridges stopped due to erosion and weather problems impacting the Brazos River between Brenham and Navasota.

The Brazos River Bridge on Highway 105 is 65-years-old and ready for retirement.

Three new bridges are being built in this area.

They'll cross the Navasota and Brazos Rivers as well as Coles Creek.

Since 2017 work has been at a standstill for the Brazos section.

"Everybody's been wondering why it had come to a stop? They knew they had trouble with their one bridge you know," said Dan Gaskill, who lives in Navasota. He is glad to hear the project is resuming.

"Everybody's going to be looking forward to that being open," he said.

Other drivers said feel frustrated the projected has taken this long.

"We've had to go back to the drawing board because the river has moved with all the heavy rains that we've had in the recent years," said Bob Colwell with the TxDOT Bryan District. He said some spring floods as well as Hurricane Harvey made access in the river bottom difficult.

"TxDOT and the contractor have finalized the plan to access the location where the bridge elements will be built in the river. This plan allows the contractor to gain access, finish column construction and continue building on the Brazos River Bridge," said Colwell.

"Well it's long overdue of course. The traffic and the growth in Grimes County and Washington County has increased substantially and there's a lot of work related traffic everyday," said said Joan Konecny of Grimes County. She drives this section regularly.

Drivers hope for a safer trip through here soon.

"I don't like narrow bridges so that will be a great relief for those of us who don't like those narrow bridges. Particularly when there's an 18-wheeler coming the other way," she said.

TxDOT said if the weather and river conditions hold up, the new bridges should open to traffic at the end of 2020. They said work should resume in a few weeks and in the meantime the older bridges remain safe to travel on.

The entire project is expected to cost around $25 million.

Work is much further along on the two other bridges there.

The project is being handled by James Construction Group.