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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

BC Council protests Rainbow Bridge traffic plan


Last updated 3/26/2024 at 9:52pm

The Bridge City City Council is asking for the Texas Department of Transportation to redesign a traffic detour at the Rainbow Bridge when the landmark will be closed for maintenance later this year.

The council in the letter says a plan to install "S" turns for diverting Rainbow Bridge traffic on and off the Veterans Bridge "will lead to an unnecessary and totally avoidable potential for accidents and traffic congestion."

TxDOT's plans call for closing the Rainbow Bridge and turning the adjacent Veterans Bridge to accommodate two-way traffic, with special "S" turns for traffic that would be going on the Rainbow Bridge to go onto and off of, Veterans.

In the letter signed by Mayor David Rutledge, the city is says that when going down the Veterans Memorial Bridge from Orange County to Jefferson County, vehicles tend to speed on the decline. The increased speed, especially with rain or other inclement weather, would reduce visibility at the end of the bridge and make problems for traffic diverting on the "S" turn.

Speed, low visibility and a sudden "S" turn could lead to vehicle collisions. The bridge is on Texas Highway 87, which is the main thoroughfare through Bridge City. Crashes on or at the bridges can cause traffic to back up into the city, creating more traffic problems.

The letter says Mayor Rutledge, along with City Manager Christopher Baker and the police chief met with a representative of TxDOT in mid-February to discuss their concerns with the plans for the bridge detour. They even drove the representative around the bridge to show their concerns.

Even though the representative said he would contact TxDOT's traffic management, by mid-March the city had no reply on any changes.

The council voted unanimously to send the letter asking for the traffic changes. Last week, TxDOT announced the Rainbow Bridge would close for at least 18 months beginning in late summer or early fall. The 1938 bridge will undergo "extreme maintenance."

Also the Bridge City Council voted to annex 16.9 acres for a new subdivision off Honeysuckle Street.

In addition, the council voted to rename Pine Lane to Derick Lane in honor of the Quibodeaux family.


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