TxDOT Says Crumbling Overpass Safe to Drive On

Despite bridge's appearance, TxDOT says repair not top priority

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010  |  Updated 6:29 PM CDT
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Thousands of people drive over the I-35E North overpass at Highway 77 in <a title=Denton County but it appears to be falling apart, but TxDot says repairing it is not a priority." />

Lindsay Wilcox, NBCDFW.com

Thousands of people drive over the I-35E North overpass at Highway 77 in Denton County but it appears to be falling apart, but TxDot says repairing it is not a priority.

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An Interstate 35E overpass in Denton appears to be falling apart, but the Texas Department of Transportation says the bridge is safe to drive on.

The concrete on the embankment of the bridge at Interstate 35E North and Highway 77 is buckling, and huge slabs are edging close to the nearby roadway. There are also cracks in the concrete where the braces attach to the steel support beams, and one brace appears to be twisting.

"You look at it, and it looks like there are several problems with it," said TxDOT spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop White.

But TxDOT said an inspection in April showed that the shabby-looking structure is safe.

"It looks bad, but it's not in danger," White said.

TxDOT said plenty of concerned drivers have called with concerns about the bridge's safety.

Driver Keith Waldo said the overpass is in "horrible" condition.

"It's kind of scary, as much traffic as goes over that bridge, that they can't take care of just the basics around here," he said.

White said the bridge is not a top priority for the maintenance crews in the area.

"If you remember, we had a very wet spring, and we had a lot of slope failures throughout the district," she said. "Right now, that's what our in-house district crews are working on."

But TxDOT also said the bridge is slated for repair before the end of the year.

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