Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter
Some of the bridges you drive on everyday may be in need of maybe repairs. A new report shows 1,200 Texas bridges are on the list.
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association lists the South Denton Drive Bridge as one of the most heavily traveled of the state’s nearly 1,300 bridges in need of major repair.
According to a recent study, the bridge that crosses Interstate 35E at South Denton Drive in Lake Dallas, is near the top of the list when it comes to Texas bridges in bad shape.
The association lists the bridge third of the most traveled “structurally deficient” bridges in the state.
The bridge was built in 1960 in the spot just before southbound travelers hit Lewisville Lake. These days you can see rust marks and bent metal on the underside as well as misshapen and aged guardrails on top.
Kimberly Sims, public information officer for the 35Express construction project, said the bridge is inspected and worked on yearly and she is confident it’s safe to travel over.
Sims believes the main reason it made the ARTBA’s list is due to age and growth of the community around it. The bridge was designed at a time when traffic in Lake Dallas was much lighter and it’s not made for the current traffic that it’s taking on.
“This area is one of the fastest growing areas in the Metroplex, so we have to have additional capacity,” said Sims.
The rapid growth in the area is the main reason the bridge is one of more than 70 along the I-35E stretch from Denton to I-635 that’s slated to be repaired or replaced during the 35Express project.
Sims said the South Denton Drive bridge will be completely removed in the next year or two and replaced with a road that will go under the freeway.
The ARTBA’s study was created using data from the 2013 National Bridge Survey released by the Federal Highway Administration. It lists about 63,000 bridges nationwide that need serious work. There are approximately 1,283 bridges in the Lone Star State that need about $8 billion in work.
Also in the top 10 most traveled that are structurally deficient were two bridges in Dallas County: Hutton Branch at I-35E and Hackberry Creek at state Highway 114.
Three Tarrant County bridges also made the list: Nixon Street at I-35W, DART/FWWR & 36th Street at 35W, and DART/FWWR at state Highway 121.