SH 21 in Niederwald back open after flood damage

State Highway 21 near FM 2001 in Niederwald was closed to traffic after it was damaged by flooding on May 27, 2016.
State Highway 21 near FM 2001 in Niederwald was closed to traffic after it was damaged by flooding on May 27, 2016. (TxDOT Photo)

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A bridge that crumbled under the onslaught of rain in May is back open to drivers and it’s better than before.

State Highway 21 near Farm to Market 2001 in Niederwald closed to traffic on May 27 after floodwaters washed away the bridge culvert. In four weeks, Texas Department of Transportation crews were able to replace the bridge culvert on SH 21 with a new 50-foot span bridge.

The new SH 21 bridge deck was poured June 20, 2016. (TxDOT Photo)
The new SH 21 bridge deck was poured June 20, 2016. (TxDOT Photo)

“By itself it is a great feat to replace a single culvert with a new bridge structure, but to accomplish this work in just over four weeks is phenomenal,” said TxDOT Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy.

Instead of just replacing the single damaged culvert, crews decided the optimal solution would be to create a new bridge that actually goes over the North Elm Branch of Plum Creek. This solution opens the channel and eliminate future damage.

“Having the ability to use these pre-fabricated beams allowed us to expedite this bridge work by several months,” McCoy said. “We would not have been able to perform this work without the cooperation of many different individuals and I am proud to re-open this new, safer bridge to traffic.”

After being damaged by flooding in May 2016, the bridge was repaired and reopened on June 28, 2016. (TxDOT Photo)
After being damaged by flooding in May 2016, the bridge was repaired and reopened on June 28, 2016. (TxDOT Photo)

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