Bridging the gap; Work on Oakland bridge underway

Published 11:09 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

A long discussed bridge project is underway in southeast Austin.

The Oakland Place Southeast bridge on the south side of East Side Lake was set to close Thursday for crews to begin tearing down the bridge and replacing it as part of a roughly $2.59 million project.

“We’re looking forward to getting started,” Mower County Public Works Director Mike Hanson said.

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The bridge, which sees about 7,000 vehicles per day, will be closed to traffic through May 2017.

The Oakland Place exit — the fly-over bridge from Interstate 90 — will be closed and traffic will be routed to 11th Drive Northeast. Oakland Place will be closed on the west at 12th Street Southeast and on the east at First Avenue Northeast. The traffic movement from Oakland Avenue to 14th Street will remain open to traffic.

The Austin City Council and Mower County board previously voted to approve various aspects of Icon Construction LLC’s roughly $2.59 million bid for work on the project. The county received about $1.85 million in state bonds for the project.

Construction will continue through the winter with the goal to complete work by the end of May because the 11th Place Southeast bridge over Interstate 90 near the 1509 10th Place NE Kwik Trip is slated to be replaced starting in June 2017.

“We want to get this done before that,” Hanson said, adding they don’t want the two bridges closed at the same time.

The Oakland Place project will include a 52-foot bridge, a 10-foot sidewalk on the north side, a 6-foot sidewalk on the south side, roadway approaches, decorative lighting, improvements at the Oakland-14th Street intersection and retaining walls between the bridge and the East Side Lake Dam.

The bridge, built in 1932, is one of the oldest in the county and has long been deemed structurally deficient.