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TxDOT inspection leads to bridge closure in rural Nueces County

County Road 18 bridge
Posted at 3:42 PM, May 25, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A bridge in rural Nueces County will be closed until repairs are made.

An inspection by the Texas Department of Transportation this week resulted in that closure.

The county was notified of the inspection result for County Road 18 Bridge, and the recommendation to close the bridge, because county roads abut the bridge. The county took action on Thursday, closing roads leading to the bridge, to all non-local traffic.

Ownership of the bridge, and responsibility to maintain, falls under Nueces County Drainage District 2, according to sources at the county.

At issue is erosion of the timber abutment, which could potentially lead to a washout of the bridge, sources said.

They said this timber abutment is responsible for holding back dirt and over time the dirt can begin to "wash" away.

A previous inspection by TxDOT two years ago revealed this bridge, and one other on County Road 18, would be eligible for replacement through a grant program. Through that program, the drainage district would be responsible for 6.5% of the replacement cost given the drainage district is in a disadvantaged area, sources with the county said.

In April 2021, the Nueces County Commissioners Court approved an interlocal agreement to help pay $18,468 for engineering and design services associated with the replacement of one of those bridges.

According to the agreement, "the bridge is being flooded over and is unsafe and must now be replaced in order to allow for safe passage along this section of County Road 18."

The agreement also required the drainage district to, "undertake and oversee the completion of the replacement of the Bridge within a reasonable time."

KRIS 6 News has reached out to the drainage district to ask if the engineering and design services are complete, if it applied for a grant with TxDOT, and the plans to repair this bridge.

A representative with the drainage district said Thursday a void was found within the abutments of the bridge.

He says the drainage district has 30 days to respond to the issue, and the bridge is currently closed, adding some materials will have to be reinstalled with proper compaction. The district is currently working on a solution and answers to the remaining questions posed by KRIS 6 News.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.