TxDot inspection ends Wednesday evening for Carpenters Bluff Bridge

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- A busy bridge that crosses the Red River is temporarily shut down for part of each day. Kristen Shanahan found out why traffic on the Carpenters Bluff Bridge is blocked and updates us on a new project nearby that will make traveling more convenient for Texoma drivers.

Bill Capshaw says he drives Carpenters Bluff Bridge about two times a day. He says when it is closed it is an inconvenience.

"For me I would have to go at least 20 miles out of the way. I would have to go all the way out to Achille then across to Colbert then back down to Denison," Capshaw said.

The bridge is closed from 8 a.m. To 5 p.m. for inspection. The safety check started Monday and will end Wednesday evening.

TXDot says every four years they are required to inspect any bridge in Texas that has steel members.

"We want to make sure that there is no corrosion. The wells that were originally placed are in good shape," Noel Paramanantham, with TXDot, said.

Capshaw understands that a travel delay for a few days is a small price to pay.

"I sure wouldn't want to be on it when it fell into the river," Capshaw said.

Carpenters Bluff Bridge was built in 1910 for the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad. Capshaw says he remembers driving on the bridge when the train would come through.

"And it'd hit that bridge and the whole bridge would just tremble and my mom would just freak out, and us little boys we were just five and six and we were just like 'yea'," Capshaw exclaimed.

The rail stopped running in the 1960s and is now just a one lane bridge, and though Capshaw wants this historic landmark to stay he hopes to see another bridge built.

"A nice two lane bridge where we don't have to wait for the other people coming to go," Capshaw said.

A new bridge is in the works. Bryan County Commissioner Tony Simmons says construction on a new two-lane bridge, northwest of Carpenters Bluff, is expected to start next year.

Carpenters Bluff will be closed again in the spring for minor renovations. TXDot says no matter the reason for closures follow signs and pay attention to board messages.

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