2009-12-10 / Front Page

Deadly Bridges on FM 696 Finally Being Replaced

A grassroots effort produced a petition that resulted in two bridges being replaced. The petition, which was drafted in March 2008, called for the replacement of the bridge over the Pin Oak Branch of the Yegua Creek on FM 696 west of Lexington. It was signed by residents throughout Lee County. At that time, Lee County Commissioners sent a letter, along with the petition, to TxDOT requesting the replacement of the bridge because of the narrow width and condition of it. The letter and petition were drafted as a result of recent fatalities that occurred at that site.

In August of this year, Representative Tim Kleinschmidt said “I am proud to announce two FM 696 bridge replacement projects in Lee County that will be funded by the federal government.”

Kleinschmidt attended three TxDOT meetings and testified before the Texas Transportation Commission concerning the bridges.

Beginning this month, TxDOT will rebuild two bridges along FM 696 in Lee County. Both bridges were built in 1950 and currently have two ten foot travel lanes, which can limit safe two-way traffic on the bridges. The new bridges will provide wider travel lanes and shoulders for increased safety.

One of the bridge projects, which was the subject of the petition, is located on FM 696 at Pin Oak Branch located near County Road 309. The new bridge will have two 12-foot lanes and 10- foot shoulders.

The other bridge is located on FM 696 at Mine Creek, about two miles northeast of FM 619. Upon completion, the new structure will have a width of 46 feet and a length of 90 feet. Like the other new bridge, this one will accommodate two 12-foot travel lanes and 10-foot shoulders.

The total cost of these two projects is $2,075,715.18. Construction will begin this month. The road will remain open at all times with the possibility of one-way traffic control during construction.

Weather permitting; both bridges should be completed by August 2010.

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