WICHITA FALLS, TX - Early morning commuters can expect to see lots of construction happening over three major overpasses in Wichita Falls. The work is being done on three bridges off the Kell Freeway over the intersections of Kell Boulevard and Brooke Ave, Harrison Street, and Taft Boulevard. The construction work could last into the next coming week according to TxDot Public Information Officer Adele Lewis who explained the maintenance work is needed to ensure the bridges structurally sound for commuters going in and coming out of Wichita Falls.
Lewis said that all three overpasses are post tension bridges meaning there is no separate beam and deck structure, so the beam and the deck are all one unified unit across the bridge. She explains that this current construction work is needed to prevent a failure in the decking of the bridge. By re-sealing the decks, they can prevent water and salt from getting into the concrete and rotting out all the steel inside the bridges.
"You would jeopardize the structural integrity of that bridges and we just do it every 15 years. These bridges were built in the 1980s and this was one of the design concepts back then but it's very unique. These are the only ones we have in this district and the only ones we have in the state of Texas," said Lewis.
Traffic will be bumped down to two lanes on the freeway during the construction work. To avoid major delays and keep workers safe from the Texas summer heat all construction work will be done over night and continue into the early morning hours wrapping up each day by eight in the morning.
"Since we're doing this at night we're going to be impacting a lot less traffic so the freeway will be going from 4-2 lanes overnight. Please just pay attention to the traffic signals up there on the bridges," said Lewis.