Final major recovery project from Hays Co. Memorial Day floods wraps up

The new Post Road Bridge over the Blanco River opened to traffic on Dec. 20, 2017. (KXAN photo)
The new Post Road Bridge over the Blanco River opened to traffic on Dec. 20, 2017. (KXAN photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Ahead of schedule and on budget, the Post Road Bridge over the Blanco River is back open to traffic. The bridge was decimated by the 2015 Memorial Weekend flood.

A temporary one-lane bridge was installed for residents to use while officials worked to build a permanent one. In July, two years after the flood, Hays County closed the bridge and began permanent repairs.

“It was kind of the final reminder when people would drive across the temporary bridge of what happened,” said Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith. “To have this brand new bridge, it’s a big deal. It’s an important reminder of the constant recovery that has happened in hays County over the past couple of years.”

The new bridge is two lanes wide and has 4-foot shoulders, and built within a $900,000 budget.

“This is the last one that we finished from the Memorial day floods, this is kind of tying a bow on that event and putting an exclamation mark on the end of it,” said Texas Department of Transportation District Engineer Terry McCoy. “It is designed to withstand any flood that comes through, so this bridge will not wash away.”

With one more major project complete, county leaders say it frees up personnel to focus on other needs. “There are low water crossings that still need to be hardened so that they don’t become damaged if we flood again, when we flood again. And then on private property, several homeowners in Hays County are still going through the process of rebuilding or repairing their homes that were damaged,” said Smith.

It’s a slow process, more than two and a half years now, but this bridge serves as a reminder to those still struggling that recovery is within reach.

Hays County held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning then planted a tree at Five Mile Dam Park to help re-forest the Blanco River banks.

 

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