Work to rehabilitate the Yale Street Bridge south of Interstate 10 is scheduled to begin in April.
According to the Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering, the process will involve installation of external carbon-strip reinforcement along the bridge beams, significantly increasing the load-bearing weight of the structure, which now is set at 3,000 pounds per axle. Bids are expected to be received in February, with contracts awarded in March and rehab work beginning in April.
The bridge is on a Texas Department of Transportation prioritized list for statewide funding for replacement, with construction anticipated to start in late 2016.
The bridge’s capacity was downgraded by TxDOT from 8,000 pounds per axle last September.
Until the work is completed, monthly inspections of the bridge are slated to continue. Most cars, SUVs and light trucks do not exceed the restrictions, but some do. You can check the weight limit of your vehicle on the sticker attached on the driver’s side door.
The Houston Police Department continues enforcement efforts, as anyone who drives that regularly can attest. Also, the city is remotely monitoring bridge traffic to identify possible overweight vehicle violations. Perhaps the biggest reduction of traffic to the bridge is that with the completion of Koehler between Heights Boulevard and Yale, there is now an easy alternative route via the Heights Boulevard Bridge for northbound and southbound truck traffic. The Heights Boulevard Bridge does not have load limits. For more about the bridge and the rehab project, contact Alvin Wright at 832-395-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See here, here, and here for some background. With the Alexan Heights project on the drawing board there’s even more reason to get this going. Hopefully this will make the situation a little better until full-on reconstruction can begin.