Construction on the Houghton Rd. bridge between Old Vail Rd. and I-10 is set to begin later this month. Thursday night, the developers hosted an open-house for residents to learn more about the project. Plans on display, detailed with timelines and sketches of what the new bridges will look like -- very different than the current bridge in place now, according to project manager Austin Wesnitzer.
"The public is going to notice the general ride quality has increased," he said. "They will have three lanes of travel, both northbound and southbound."
The new plans include two bridges instead of one, with three lanes of traffic going both directions. They will also have bike lanes and sidewalks.
Despite daily construction over the two years the project is anticipated to take, drivers won't have to take an alternative route to get around it. This was important to Wesnitzer.
"The first phase of the project is going to be constructing a new bridge, while the existing traffic is on the old bridge," Wesnitzer said. "And once the new bridge is complete, we're going to switch traffic over to the new bridge, and we'll remove the old bridge."
Local resident Jim Kester attended the open house. He's pleased with the bridge plans, and that he won't be detoured away from Houghton Rd.
"They're interested in the public's input, which again is a compliment to them," he said. "They're not just doing it the way they think it ought to be done, but they're open to ideas and suggestions, and I appreciate that."
Though the project is slated for two years of construction, Wesnitzer explained it could be completed before spring of 2019. He added though drivers will still be able to take Houghton Rd., there may be some delays with speed limits changing because of the construction over the two year period.