Construction has been under way for almost two years on the single largest highway improvement project ever seen in southern Hunt County.
But it will likely be almost two more years before motorists will be able to drive across an expanded Two-Mile Bridge/State Highway 276, the main connector between West Tawakoni in Hunt County and East Tawakoni in Rains County.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) awarded a bid in September 2012 to widen the roadway from two to four lanes. Williams Brothers Construction Company was chosen for the $48.3 million project to replace the 53-year old bridge over Lake Tawakoni.
“They have used a little more than 50 percent of their time,” according to TxDOT Public Information Officer Tim McAlavay, who said the contractor had installed 440 of the planned 555 drill shafts needed for the project as of the end of June.
Phase 1 of the project is involving the installation of drill shafts, columns, caps, bents, beams and slabs for the new bridge, which will be constructed immediately to the north of and parallel to the existing bridge. Traffic will continue to run on the existing bridge during the initial phase.
Subsequent construction phases will tie the new bridge alignment to the existing State Highway 276 roadway, and to demolish the existing bridge.
The beams cover 101,575 linear feet, or approximately 19 miles end to end.
The road deck covers another 816,000 square feet, equivalent to about 14 football fields goal post to goal post.
McAlavay said the projects anticipated completion is in April 2016.