CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
SPICEWOOD — Crews will begin work and close a portion of Spur 191 in Spicewood on Oct. 19 to dismantle and replace the Cypress Creek bridge with a safer and pedestrian-friendly structure, officials say.
The approximately $785,000 Texas Department of Transportation project involves wider travel lanes, shoulders, a center median and a pedestrian walkway.
Due to the work, motorists, including Spicewood Elementary School buses, will face detours and find alternative routes during about a six-month period.
“Because it’s being replaced within the existing footprint of the bridge, the road will be closed at that point,” Burnet County Pct. 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery said. “Parents that are trying to take their kids to Spicewood Elementary School will still be able to go north on Spur 191and be able to access the school from (Texas) 71.”
The bridge, about a mile north of Texas 71, is also located just north of the school and south of the entryway to Krause Springs, a public spring-fed waterhole and camping venue.
“If parents are coming out of some of the subdivisions on the north end of Spicewood on the lake — Spicewood Beach, Lakeside Beach as examples — as their coming south, they’ll have to pick up CR 410 east or west and come back to 71 and go around,” Dockery said. “TxDOT has placed electronic message boards (notifying motorists) in the area of the general store.”
Officials have begun letting various entities know about the project timeframe.
“We take a proactive stance to make sure we notify all of the first responders, the school district, the utility providers,” he said. “If there is a power outtage, PEC would need to know that as well, and the same thing with the school district, they can act accordingly.”
Contractor Greater Austin Developmentwill dismantle but not blast the existing bridge due to water in the creek below.
“It will be inconvenient, and I suspect this process is going to occur for about a six-month period,” Dockery said. “It will make the access better. It’s a big safety improvement. You don’t have cars meeting each other on a narrow bridge.”
Development in the area prompted TxDOT support for replacing the bridge, which was built in 1972.
“We’ve got a lot of growth, so you have a lot of truck traffic as well,” Dockery said. “This is a good time to change that bridge out with one that will better service the public.”