Lisa Tipton, Brownwood area TxDOT Information Officer, announced construction of U.S. Highway 84/183 from Early to Zephyr will continue through late December.

Tipton did not give a reason for the most recent delay of the $12 million project, which was originally scheduled to be completed last May, but did state it would have a completion date of Dec. 19 with weather permitting.

According to an email sent to The Bulletin from Tipton, she stated the new date for completion is set for Dec. 19, weather permitting.

TxDOT appreciates the patience of motorists and encourages attention to all warning signs within the construction work zone while crews work diligently to complete this work as quickly and as safely as possible. When driving through a work zone, some simple steps to take are slow down, pay attention, avoid distractions such as cell phones, be patient, and plan ahead.

Since August 2016, TxDOT worked to conclude a four-phase, $12.4 million railroad bridge construction project at U.S. Highways 84/83. In its previous state, the bridge required the popular, four-lane highway, which reaches a speed limit of 75 miles per hour in some section, to bottleneck to two lanes. Once completed, TxDOT will expand highway 183 to five lanes, including a turn lane.

The first phase, involved constructing a temporary bridge for Fort Worth and Western Railroad so not to impede freight commerce. Construction crews then tore down the old bridge, constructed the new bridge and are in the process of widening the road. The new bridge will remain the property of Fort Worth and Western Railroad, but TxDOT will continue ownership and maintenance of the highway.

In the follow-up email, Carlson stated the increased clearance allows more oversized cargo loads to pass under the bridge, thus easing movement of freight.

In April, TxDOT announced a two-month delay to the project as part of a redesign of the bridge after it was originally designed to have a 16 ½ clearance, but with recent changes to TxDOT policies it must now have an 18 ½ clearance.

“Just in the past year or so TxDOT revised its bridge height standards,” said Andrew Carlson, TxDOT public information officer at the time. “It takes a few years to design something like this. When we originally designed it, we designed it to what the standards were until about a year ago, which was around 16 ½ feet. We were thinking, while we have it under construction, let’s go ahead and make the clearance what the new standards are. We just went into a quick redesign and figured out a way where we can lower the roadway a couple of more feet.”

In June, Tipton announced the project would not conclude until this fall. At the time of the announcement she said railroad construction ended, and forecasted the completion date to be sometime this fall.