KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Plans are in the works for keeping Kilgore College students off the street - off of Highway 259 anyway. Two years ago the bridge was hit by a truck carrying an oversized load.
The impact caused irreparable structural weakness in the bridge. They tore it down in May of 2019. It was replaced by a crosswalk. But now, there are plans in the works for a new walking bridge.
Right now, if Kilgore College students need to get to the other side of campus they have to use a crosswalk, which stops traffic, according to Chris Craddock, Assistant Director of Marketing at Kilgore College.
“Once the lights were installed by TxDOT, we really haven’t had any issues, but having a new bridge will be wonderful to ensure the safety of our students and employees,” Craddock said.
However, the first step to getting the new walking bridge in place is tearing down the rest of the old one.
“The reason we have to demolish the ramps is since they were built in 1969 they were no longer ADA compliant,” Craddock said.
The spiral ramps will have to go.
“The new bridge will actually have an elevator on both sides, and also stairs on both sides so students and employees will also have the option of taking the elevator or taking the stairs,” Craddock said.
Kilgore College formed a bridge committee to look at several different designs.
“And have come up with an option that we feel like is a landmark for the college, but also something that fits in with the design of the college,” Craddock said.
The price of the endeavor?
“This will be no cost to the college or the taxpayers. It is all funded through insurance,” Craddock said.
Craddock adds it’s the trucking company’s insurance. Tuesday marks exactly two years since the walking bridge was hit.
“It was struck on April 27, 2019,” Craddock said.
Craddock said the board will soon be taking bids for the construction of the new bridge.
Craddock said demolition of the ramps should begin this summer, and the Kilgore College Board of Directors would like to see the project completed as soon as possible.
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