Some bulldozers and a crane began demolition Friday on the Comanche Street bridge over the Crosstown Expressway so it can be integrated with the new Harbor Bridge.
The bridge will be taken down over the weekend before being rebuilt, but it could cause drivers some headaches over the next three nights.
Starting at 9 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday, crews will close northbound Crosstown and tear down half of the Comanche Street bridge. The following night, the southbound side of Crosstown will be closed as crews bring down the second half of the bridge.
"For the bridge widening that we're doing, 286 is going to be realigned and widened some in this area, so we have to make the Comanche bridge wider for us to fit the freeway underneath it," said Darrell Chambers of Flatiron Dragados, the company handling the new Harbor Bridge project.
Chambers recommends avoiding the area this weekend if you can by using I-37 or SPID.
After the demolition, crews will then begin rebuilding the Comanche Street bridge, but more work is coming on the next bridge on that stretch of Crosstown.
"The Lipan Street bridge will be removed," Chambers said. "Because the way the bridge grades are here, we have to remove that permanently. So Comanche's being made the wider bridge to accommodate the traffic."
The more than $800 million bridge project includes the rebuilding of the Highway 181 and I-37 interchange, which sees the bridge move more than 100 feet up the ship channel from where the current Harbor Bridge sits. The 6.44 miles of bridge and connecting roadway will bring the south side of the bridge down in the area of Agnes and Crosstown.
"It's getting exciting now, as people can see," Chambers said. "They've been hearing about the bridge for two years now, well now they can actually see it happening."
Flatiron Dragados officials said they will not start demolition of the Lipan Street bridge until the new Comanche Street bridge is reopened.
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