Longview, TX (KETK) — The Texas Department of Transportation officials today announced they would keep the Martin Luther King overpass closed until further repairs could be made to the structure.
"We never gamble with the safety of the traveling public," said TxDOT Tyler District Engineer Randy C. Hopmann, P.E. "We are in the process of initiating a contract to make the necessary repairs to re-open the structure as quickly and safely as possible."
Local TxDOT engineers closed the overpass early Monday morning as a safety precaution after an 18-wheel truck ran off the roadway then burned underneath the overpass. Engineers from TxDOT's Bridge Division inspected the site the following day and informed the Tyler District this morning of their findings and subsequent recommendation that the overpass should remain closed pending repairs.
"This will be handled similarly to other bridge-hits we've had along Interstate 20 and elsewhere," Hopmann added. "Our goal is to get this work done quickly and safely, and get the overpass re-opened to traffic as soon as possible."
There is no timeline for the work to begin, or estimate on the potential cost, but plans for the repairs are already under way.