by Ben Posey
Commuters driving on Chapel Creek Blvd. can rest assured that the design of the new bridge crossing I-30 will be state of the art. What they can’t be guaranteed is the funding to make it happen.
Around one-hundred people showed up Tuesday night for the Chapel Creek Neighborhood Association meeting where city officials and members of the engineering firm Teague, Nail and Perkins (TNP) discussed the upcoming plans for the Chapel Creek bridge over I-30.
Joe Atwood of TNP presented a slide show giving a project overview including sketches, design elements, schedule, budget, funding and some possible construction issues. The current bridge, which is only two lanes, was built in the 1960’s.
The new bridge will feature six lanes of traffic plus a u-turn lane that will match up with existing lanes on the north and south side of Chapel Creek Blvd. Traffic signals as well as illuminated sidewalks are part of the design.
“The design is 90% complete,” said Atwood. “If you want to know when the project will begin, follow the money. The money is what drives the construction.”
Atwood told the crowd that the project is just weeks away from being “shovel ready.” The project is basically waiting for federal funds to be assigned.
The schedule calls for construction to begin in the Fall of 2016 but could begin as early as the Fall of 2015 if funds are assigned. A completion date of Fall of 2017 is expected. The construction cost now is $8,044,000.
A new portion of the bridge will be constructed first and the old bridge will remain in use until the new part is completed. The old bridge will be demolished at that time and more of the new bridge will be constructed.