New viaduct opening moved to May 25

Rerouting of U.S. 77 onto South Monroe Street postponed because of weather

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Work was progressing in 2020 on the first of two new viaducts that will carry U.S. Highway 77 south of Waxahachie. Two-way traffic will be shifted to the new bridge (background) starting Tuesday. The old bridge (foreground) will be replaced with a new one that will open in the spring of 2022.

The planned opening of the first of two new U.S. 77 viaducts has been moved to next Tuesday, May 25, because of the weather, the Texas Department of Transportation announced Monday.

Once the weather improves, two-way traffic on U.S. 77 will be rerouted to South Monroe Street and onto the brand-new viaduct so that crews can begin replacing the old viaduct that connects with South Elm Street.

One northbound lane on the existing U.S. 77, or Elm Street, will remain open while the southbound side is being reconstructed. Several side streets, including Madison Street, Jefferson Street, Franklin Street and Water Street will be closed one at a time with detours during the construction at each of those streets.

The traffic pattern will be in place until the $21.6 million project, which began in 2019, is completed in the spring of 2022. Message boards have been placed to alert drivers of the new traffic pattern. TxDOT asks drivers to be aware in the work zone.

Once the new bridge is in place, there will be two new parallel bridges, one for each direction of traffic.

According to TxDOT, the existing 90-year-old viaduct has many structural deficiencies and is considered a safety hazard. Also, according to the agency, the existing U.S. 77 through downtown Waxahachie is inadequate to meet current and future traffic volumes, resulting in congestion and reduced mobility.

Once the project is completed, two lanes of northbound traffic on U.S. 77 will continue to be routed on Elm Street, while two lanes of southbound traffic will switch one block west to Monroe Street.