Demolition Work To Close Part of 287

Beginning Wednesday morning, demolition work to the Huntington Bridge will close part of U.S. Highway 287. The closure will affect drivers going into Electra and Iowa Park, and going in and coming out of Wichita Falls.

The Huntington Bridge was only built to be 13 feet 11 inches tall. The bridge is notorious for being hit or grazed by large Semi's, over height and over weight loads. The rebuilt bridge will be wider and taller.

According to TxDOT, Public Information officer Adele Lewis, Texoma drivers will have to detour, but it's simple.

"People are literally just going to get off the exit ramp at Huntington Road, drive up go across Huntington Road and get right back on the freeway.  They're just going to have to slow down a bit," said Lewis.

The bridge's new height will be 17.2 feet high and 12 feet wide, with two 8 feet shoulders. It will be 11 months before rebuilding the bridge is complete.

"After we demolish this week, the main lanes of the freeway will open back up to the public and we won't need to close them again until certain portions of the bridge building like setting beams, putting slabs down or pouring concrete.  Then we'll need to close lanes or different directions at different times as needed," said Lewis.

The cost to rebuild the Huntington Bridge is $2.4 million all coming from state and federal funds.

The demolition process of the Huntington Bridge will begin after rush hour, Wednesday morning and will proceed throughout the rest of the day and into the night.

Construction along FM 171 will also start this week.

It's 6 1/2 miles from Airport Road in Wichita Falls to the Clay County line.  The road is currently narrow and has no shoulders. TxDOT crews will make the road wider and safer.

The cost of this project is $4.5 million.  This money is coming from Proposition 1. The money from Prop. 1 was approved by voters November of 2014 to take funds out of the oil and gas tax revenue and move it into the State Highway Fund.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6