Georgetown open house covers railing designs in Austin Avenue bridge rehabilitation

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Georgetown public works officials are seeking input on bridge railing designs as part of the planned rehabilitation for the two historic bridges that cross the San Gabriel River along Austin Avenue just north of downtown.

An open house is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Hewlett Room at Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., Georgetown.

City Council members voted last fall to pursue a $7 million-$10 million plan to rehabilitate both bridge spans and add a new pedestrian bridge.

The city has for the past several years worked with the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Historical Commission to assess options for the Austin Avenue bridges, which were completed in 1940 and became eligible in 1999 for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The cantilevered suspended-span bridges create a main travel route into downtown Georgetown.

An inspection in December 2013 found structural problems with the bridges, including cracking asphalt as well as rusting and crumbling concrete. Load-bearing limits on the bridges restrict vehicles weighing more than 48,000 pounds, which includes most fuel and garbage trucks as well as fire department ladder trucks. Forensic testing has shown the bridges are structurally sufficient.

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