If you’ve noticed a bit more traffic around downtown Wichita Falls, you’re not alone.  Ever since the northbound side of the elevated freeway that runs by downtown was closed a couple of weeks ago, traffic has been backing up.  Now it looks like the Texas Department of Transportation is finally making progress on repairing the highway bridge.

In case you were wonder why you can’t travel north on Central Freeway, on Friday, March 25th there was a serious accident on US-287 involving a semi-truck carrying a wind turbine on the elevated highway.  The wind turbine fell off of the truck’s bed and onto the highway.  This equipment was so heavy that it significantly damaged the freeway, by puncturing several different holes in the bridge.

After the accident was cleared engineers and bridge inspectors closed the northbound side of US-287.  Since then, northbound traffic has been forced to exit off onto Broad Street, which runs under the elevated highway.  Even if you’re traveling eastbound on Kell Freeway, you are forced to exit onto Broad Street.  This has created significant backups there are several traffic lights on the road.  While the city has adjusted the lights to accommodate the increased traffic, there’s still traffic delays.

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Well good news has finally arrived.  Ever since the freeway was closed, the Texas Department of Transportation has been shopping around for contractors to fix the bridge.  This Friday Tx-Dot is planning on signing an emergency contract to repair the bridge.  After officials from Tx-Dot sign the contract, they will announce the construction schedule and a projected reopening date for northbound US-287.

Hopefully the construction crews can get started as soon as possible, and it doesn’t take too long to repair the highway.  There’s already way too much road construction going on to begin with.  Unfortunately, Tx-Dot officials have stated that it may take several weeks or even months until the freeway is safe to travel on again.

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