City sets up tribute to old viaduct

Section of railing preserved as reminder of bridge’s existence

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
A section of railing from the demolished U.S. 77 viaduct stands at the city parking lot at the corner of South Rogers and Cantrell Streets. This section of railing will serve as a reminder and tribute to the structure that served the Waxahachie community since 1930.

The city of Waxahachie has established a “memorial” commemorating the demolished U.S. 77 viaduct that stood on the south end of downtown for more than 90 years.

A section of the distinctive railing of the historic viaduct was preserved and relocated last week to the city parking lot at the corner of South Rogers and Cantrell Streets. This section of railing will serve as a reminder and tribute to the structure that served the Waxahachie community since 1930.

In late May, U.S. 77 two-way traffic was rerouted onto Monroe Street and a brand-new viaduct, so that crews could demolish the old bridge and replace it with a second new viaduct that connects with South Elm Street. The old bridge was taken down in just a matter of a few days and work on the new one is already underway.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the old viaduct had many structural deficiencies and was 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.

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.

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 follow Monroe Street.