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Feb 10

February 10, 2020 - Beam Delivery & Other Project Updates

Posted on February 10, 2020 at 10:35 AM by Brenadette Faust


In a much anticipated next step in the progress towards reopening the San Antonio Bridge for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, TxDOT contractor Capital Excavation anticipates installation of new precast beams to occur on February 13th and 14th.

The process for setting new beams will be similar to the process that occurred in December, in which precast concrete bent caps were formed and constructed off- site and then transported to the location to be installed by crane. Once the new beams are in place, work will begin to form and pour the new bridge deck. The new bridge deck will increase the bridge from a 30 foot width to 48 feet wide, which will allow for 15-foot wide vehicle lanes with shoulders and 8-foot wide pedestrian walkways on both sides. 

It is expected that passage under the bridge will resume by Memorial Day, and both pedestrian and vehicular traffic may resume in late summer pending weather and other factors. This is an accelerated date from the original project timeline and is, in large part, possible due to TxDOT's use of precast supports and beams.

The city expects to meet with TxDOT and Capital Excavation in late February to receive updates on the project timeline. 

San Antonio Street Bridge Plaque
The San Antonio Street Bridge was built in 1923 and was dedicated as the "Comal River Bridge". The bridge consisted of 10-foot travel lanes and 4-foot sidewalks and lacked a shoulder. Based on these factors , the bridge qualified for the Federal Off System Bridge  program in which TxDOT selects bridges that do not meet current functional and safety standards for inclusion in the federal grant program. As a result the expected $4.5 Million project is funded with 80% Federal funds, 10% state funds and 10% local funds, which are waived for this project due to the cities investment in other local infrastructure projects.

Public Meetings and input were received leading up to the project initiation with a focus on maintaining the existing historical design while improving its structural and functional design.
Equipment for the project began arriving in early August 2019, leading up to the bridge closure on September 3rd, 2019.  During the initial phase, water traffic was allowed to continue under the bridge until September 23rd, while preliminary work was initiated and a deck was built under the bridge to catch debris and protect the environmentally sensitive waters of the Comal River.

San Antonio Bridge Construction

Construction progressed with bridge and railing sections removed one section at a time. As they were removed, pieces were identified to salvage, including several railings and finials which will be preserved for a future display. 

Once the entire existing bridge deck was removed, preparation began for the installation of precast bent caps which occurred on December 13th, 2019.

San Antonio Bridge Construction Progress

The precast caps have now been incorporated into the bridge structure and will support the new bridge deck. The original arches and pedestals will remain as only a visual  architectural element.

Bridge caps installed
The precast beams which are scheduled to be installed on February 13th will be supported by these bent caps, and the bridge deck will begin to be built on these beams as the next phase of construction.

Check back often for new updates on the San Antonio Bridge project.