Crumbling bridge leaves dozens in Bastrop County stranded after Harvey

The bridge which is the only way to access the Sand Hills neighborhood in Bastrop County collapsed after flooding related to Harvey. (KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard).
The bridge which is the only way to access the Sand Hills neighborhood in Bastrop County collapsed after flooding related to Harvey. (KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard).

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Residents in the Sand Hills development in Bastrop County, just outside the city of Red Rock, tell KXAN the rains that followed Harvey destroyed their bridge.  That bridge is the only way to get in and out of their neighborhood.

Resident John Livingston said around 30 families live in the development which is on the end of a hilly, tree-lined dirt road maintained entirely by private citizens. The people who live in the area pay into a homeowners association which covers road maintenance and other neighborhood upgrades.

“This [storm] it just rained and rained for three days and it never stopped, the water never had an opportunity to go down,” Livingston said. “As a result the water came around the side of the bridge and started eroding underneath the bridge all the way back to the culverts and everything on the other side.”

Neighbors believe it imploded early Monday morning around 2 a.m.

“This is cataclysmic, we are stuck on the other side of this creek,” Simpson said.

The bridge is now a pile of crumbled cement and piping, overtaken by muddy sand in the creek below. It is completely impassable by car, and if you walk across it you have to walk through the water and sand that sinks beneath your feet.

Livingston explained that kids in the neighborhood are now unable to go to school, parents are unable to work, and many are unable to get the medical care they need. He said that there is a quadriplegic person who lives in the neighborhood,as well as one person with two broken arms, and several people with heart conditions.

Now Livingston is living off of food that he’s stocked up on, but they’re not able to get to the store for more.

Their bridge also collapsed during the Memorial Day flooding in 2015. They spent over $20,000 then to get the bridge fixed with the help of a TxDOT engineer who volunteered his time. In 2015 the neighbors were not eligible for county funding or FEMA funding.

Livingston expects it will take at least $50,000 to re-excavate the bridge and re-build.

Bastrop County was added to the disaster declaration Gov. Abbott issued for the state during Harvey, meaning that county residents are eligible to apply for relief through FEMA funding.

Livingston said neighbors have already asked Bastrop County for help, and on Tuesday the count offered $10,000 worth of material for a temporary fix even though it is a privately owned road and bridge not under county maintenace.

Livingston said he doesn’t care where the help comes from, he and his neighbors just need assistance.

“We could use the help, whether it’s from the state, from the county, we’re still tax payers, we need help,” he said

If you would like to help, Livingston asks that you contact their homeowners association, MSLA, at (512) 766-6752.

You can also donate through this GoFundMe page.

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