The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is hard at work around Bandera County on a variety of road and bridge improvements, most notably the replacement of the Mill Creek Bridge on Highway 337 near Vanderpool.
According to several county sources, the bridge at Mill Creek had deteriorated so much that repair was not a consideration and a full bridge replacement was needed to ensure the safety of county residents and visitors. “The bridge is in bad shape,
“The bridge is in bad shape, and its replacement couldn’t wait any longer,” said Bandera County Commissioner Jody Rutherford.
The bridge replacement project will close Highway 337 in the western end of the county through April 1, 2021.
At a public meeting on October 27 at the Vanderpool Fire Station, plans for the bridge replacement were discussed and resulted in the realignment of county services.
County services including emergency medical and fire service, the Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Postal Service and Meals on Wheels will be realigned on either side of the bridge to best serve residents during the closure.
Carey Reed, Head of Bandera County Emergency Management, said she felt the meeting of residents and first responders was a good step in communicating solutions to area concerns about the project.
Reed praised the meeting participants for their willingness to work through the challenges presented by this needed improvement.
Additional construction, including the addition of blinking traffic lights on heavily traveled roadways, continues around Bandera county as a result of a statewide TXDot initiative financed by safety funds made available through the state.
County Judge Richard Evans attributes these precautions to the increase of traffic from San antonio, tourists and motorcyclists.
TXDoT has added traffic lights throughout the county, including at Cielo Rio Drive and Highway 16, Rohrbuck Drive and Highway 16, Highway 1283 and Lakeview Drive, and other locations, with plans to add more.
TXDot plans to improve roads through seal coating and resurfacing. Areas scheduled for this maintenance include Highway 477 from Highway 462 to Highway 16, Highway 16 from Enchanted River Road to Highway 1283, and Highway 187 from Lost Maples to the county line.
Other future plans for the county include the addition of a bridge over the Medina River on English Crossing, slated for construction in 2022 to replace the current low water crossing.
A complete list of TX-DOT projects around the county can be found by visiting www.txdot.gov and clicking on “View Highway Projects with Project Tracker.”