After reports from motorists and concerns escalated by city officials, the Texas Department of Transportation and the City of Waxahachie are now working to redesign a portion of the Brookside Road bridge.
The reevaluation came about after it was found that part of the new railing of the bridge obscured drivers view of oncoming traffic on the southbound service road.
Donna Simmons, TxDOT PIO, stated the issue with the railing is being addressed at this time.
“There was an issue with the railing, and they are out there putting stop signs in place,” Simmons said. “The stop signs will be there as long as they are needed.”
Simmons stated they want drivers to be aware of the new marked stops and to take extra caution while traveling along that stretch of road. Signs are anticipated to be in place by end-of-day Thursday.
Only one stop sign — positioned on the bridge — was in place as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Daily Light visited the area.
Waxahachie Mayor Kevin Strength stated the bridge railing is not a problem for larger vehicles that can see over it but blocks the view for smaller cars. He also noted vehicles on the service road are traveling at a high rate of speed, causing a very dangerous intersection.
“Until that thing is resolved, a stop sign will be put on the service road. If you are in a small car you can’t see over the wall,” Strength said. “Our area engineer, Juan Paredes, is going to make that happen.”
Strength stated there have been some close calls, but no accidents had occurred as of Wednesday. Before the installation of the ornate concrete railing, a metal guardrail was in place.
He added to keep the decorative and functional railing the city is going to work with TxDOT on the redesign to make it shorter.
The bridge is part of the Interstate Highway 35E expansion project that will ultimately increase the number of travel lanes from four to six. Several bridges along the 11-mile stretch are being remodeled or replaced.
Some of the improvements on the bridges include railings that mimic the railings on the downtown viaduct, antique street lighting, signage, painting, and decorative retaining walls that simulate cut stone.
Completion on $126 million first phase is anticipated for September 2019.