The I-35 bridge over Salado Plaza Dr. is expected to be completed by the first of June. The underpass lanes will be open at that time as well, reported Mayor Skip Blancett on May 5.
Mayor Blancett reported that he had a tour earlier in the week of the I-35 construction through Salado and was told by James Construction officials that the Salado Plaza Dr. bridge will be open by the first of June.
He also reported that in the past few months the Thomas Arnold Bridge over the interstate has been hit at least four times. In other instances, overheight loads have had to back up to the nearest exit, causing traffic lanes to be temporarily closed by local first responders.
“The bridge is 14 foot, three inches right now,” Blancett said, adding that James Construction crews will dig down at least two feet for the travel lanes under the Thomas Arnold bridge.
Local residents remember the March 2015 accident in which an overheight tractor trailer hit the FM 2484 bridge, causing the beams to fall onto both sides of the traffic lanes, entirely shutting down I-35 for the rest of the day. One man was killed in the accident. To-date no charges have been filed in the accident.
Mayor Blancett said that James Construction work on the interstate through Salado will be completed by the end of September. “I asked Mike Kilgore, the president of James Construction, why they are telling me it will be September when the website says it will be the end of the year,” Blancett said, adding that he was told that the end of the year date will be when final payments and checklists are made.