HORSESHOE BAY — City leaders are asking for public comments on a proposed $600,000 bridge to span a low-water crossing on Bay West Boulevard that floods often.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to begin a study on building the bridge, which would replace a concrete slab on Bay West with a double-arched span that engineers say could withstand a 100-year flood.
Mayor Bob Lambert said the council is hoping to get input from residents before moving forward with a $1.5 million plan that would include building the bridge and resurfacing more than a mile of pavement on Bay West.
IN PHOTO: A computer-enhanced image shows a proposed bridge on Bay West Boulevard that would replace a low-water crossing that floods often. The road is a primary artery into the Bay West neighborhood. The City Council has asked residents to weigh in with their feelings on the project. Courtesy image
The bridge itself would cost $600,000 and be funded with available cash, officials said.
Councilwoman Claudia Haydon said the bridge is needed to serve the growing population of Bay West.
"The population has increased substantially," she said. "Over this period of time, I’ve seen lots of incidents. I’ve seen moving vans stalled there, I’ve seen motorcycles on their side — and I don’t even live right there. It is dangerous, and the more populated we get, the more dangerous it’s going to be."
If approved, the bridge would be built primarily of prefabricated concrete, and could stand up to a 100-year flood event, Lambert said. The construction project would take about three months, which means temporarily closing Bay West, he added.
Bay West resident Dale Rodman spoke out against the proposal.
"The low-water bridge was there when everyone bought (property) over there," Rodman said. "You know it was there, but you bought anyway."
Rodman said an existing alternate route into the Bay West area off Texas 71 still provides access to the neighborhood during floods, adding he didn’t see a danger to motorists from the low-water crossing.
"It’s only dangerous if you drive into it while the water is high," he said. "Why would you ask the city to spend $600,000 if you’re not willing to drive a couple more miles?"
Lambert asked the council to survey residents to find out their feelings on the issue, including the bridge’s price tag.
"That’s what we hope to do, that’s where we are," Lambert said. "We’re going to proceed on this slowly. If we decide to do it, it can be done six months to a year from now. We’ll get this communicated and see what we hear."
Councilman Steve Spence agreed.
"We need some other opinions," Spence said. "Let’s hear from people on what they want to do."
Residents with comments on the bridge project can contact City Hall at (830) 598-8741.