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State Highway 72 bridge now open

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

Travelers of State Highway 72 between Cuero and Yorktown will be please to know that after nearly 12 months of construction, the Guadalupe River Bridge re-opened last Thursday, Jan. 9. The project started on Jan. 14, 2019 with SB Contractors, LLC, of Fentress, Texas awarded the contract for the construction project with a bid of $6.1 million.

Overseen by TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) and their Yoakum District Office, the need to replace this bridge was due to extensive scour, which was occuring at one of the bents. This is also what caused the bridge to be load restricted, according to Lucea’n Kuykendall-Herring, Public Information Officer for the Yoakum District Office.

This scour was caused by debris that would get stuck on the existing middle bent that was in the channel. Building a new bridge allowed for the bridge to span the river reducing the amount of bank scour that has been occurring and also to not have a load restricted bridge.

Dating back to its original construction in 1983, the SH 72 Guadalupe River Bridge saw an average daily traffic of 6,490 in 2018, which is expected to increase to 9,086 by 2038. There are seven upcoming projects by TxDOT in this district with the next expected to let in March of this year. This project is to construct a new bridge north bound at the U.S. Highway 87 Guadalupe River & Relief Bridge.

The cost is $14.3M. Following are the other six TxDOT projects scheduled to let between June 2020-October 2022.

Letting June 2020: FM 240 – From FM 2542 to VFW Rd – Safety Treat fixed objects – $500,000 Letting August 2020: US 183 – Lakeside Drive to Hospital Drive – Add 3-lanes for a 4-lane highway with continuous left turn lane -- $4,500,000 Letting Jan 2021: SH 72 – Karnes C/L to FM 2980 – Add 2 lanes for a four lane undivided highway -- $48,500,000 Letting March 2022: FM 766 – Guadalupe River Bridge – Replace Bridge -- $8,300,000 Letting September 2022: US 87 -- Guadalupe River & Relief Bridge – Rehabilitate Existing Bridges -- $7,500,000 Letting October 2022: SH 72 – FM 237 to US 87 (@ Texan) – Add 2 lanes for a four lane undivided highway -- $38,500,000

Kuykendall-Herring noted: “As always, the project lettings are based upon funding and could change.”

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