Drought Created Hazards Around Collin Co. Bridge

Neighbors concerned about cracked, separated bridge

Residents say the 2011 drought left some serious damage to a well-traveled Collin County bridge north of Josephine.

The road over the bridge near where Farm-to-Market 547 meets Farm-to-Market 1778 has cracked and pulled away, creating a sharp speed bump many drivers do not expect.

"It's dropped down and, when you hit it, you're liable to go any direction," said Charles Graham, of Copeville. "It needs to be fixed."

Tony Taylor, of Farmersville, said he has considered making homemade signs to alert drivers.

"It's just dangerous," he said.

"You feel like you hit a curb coming from the east," Taylor said. "You can just hear the suspension bottom out when the smaller cars hit it."

Taylor drove 15 mph with NBC 5 in his small sedan to show how he believes that the underside of his car scrapes the bridge even at that speed.

The posted speed limit is 55 mph, and many drivers hit the bump at full force, he said.

"We hit it and, had another car been coming, we probably would have had a head-on crash," Graham said.

Graham and Taylor said many locals have learned to drive in the center of the bridge to avoid the problem, but the solution makes a two-lane road into one, increasing the risk of head-on collision.

Local emergency responders report that the bridge was the scene of at least one recent wreck.

In the meantime, the Texas Department of Transportation has been alerted to the problem. Although the project is on its docket list, there is no guaranteed timeline for repairs.

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