A $53 million Colorado River bridge project involving the construction of nine bridges over the Colorado River and the Union Pacific Railroad in Bastrop is now complete. The Texas Department of Transportation will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21 under the newly constructed overpasses at the eastbound Hwy. 71 frontage road turnaround.

The details

Work on the project began in 2019, adding west- and eastbound frontage road bridges across the Colorado River.

The project was unique in its use of the original 1958 Colorado River bridge steel beams, said Glynda Chu, TxDOT's Austin District public information officer, in an email. The bridge was also elevated several inches for an increased height above the floodplain. The project's frontage road bridges are also built above the flood plains.

"[The project] expanded the frontage road crossing the railroad track improving access for residents of Bastrop," Chu said. "The improvements also allowed this section of [Hwy.] 71 to be highway, which provides greater vehicular capacity and improved safety for motorists traveling through Bastrop on [Hwy.] 71."