Motorists can expect long delays beginning Sunday on Interstate-20 near Lindale.
Motorists are urged to use alternate routes from Sunday through Wednesday due to The Texas Department of Transportation conducting demolition at the Farm-to-Market Road 849 bridge that received major structural damage last month.
TxDOT said the closure of I-20, set for noon Sunday, is required for the safe, efficient removal of the existing structure and the safety of the travelers. The eastbound and westbound traffic lanes of I-20 will be closed and traffic diverted to one lane on the ramps.
“This is not a typical lane closure because we’re actually shutting down I-20 around the clock for three days and putting traffic on the ramps which could cause major delays,” said Kathi White, TxDOT Public Information Officer. “Moving such a high volume of traffic to the ramps will cause lengthy delays. Traffic on all connecting roadways, such as Toll 49, will be impacted as well. Our best suggestion is to avoid I-20 if at all possible.”
Motorists should use caution when traveling through this work zone. In addition to the message signs along I-20, portable message boards will be used to alert traffic of the closure. Local law enforcement will be stationed along the corridor to assist with traffic control.
TxDOT said daytime and nighttime operations to construct the new bridge will begin after the existing steel and concrete structure is removed.
The bridge will be replaced with a four-span reinforced concrete bridge. The project also includes roadway work to connect the new overpass approach slabs.
The removal of the existing bridge will signal the start of an emergency contract to expedite the replacement project for the FM 849 Bridge over I-20, according to TxDOT.
TxDOT said the project also will include periodic lane closures and delays until the entire project is completed in mid-April.
The bridge was struck Nov. 14 by an oversized load carrying a tank vessel. The crash caused significant damage to three of the four girders making it unsafe for traffic.