Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Bridge project to briefly detour San Marcos River goers

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TWC News: Bridge project to briefly detour San Marcos River goers
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Randy and Holly Williamson enjoy kayaking, but Friday was their first trip on the San Marcos River.

However, the particular section of the river they were enjoying could soon be closed because of a project by the Texas Department of Highways.

Planners say an old, narrow bridge on Cape Road has to be replaced.

"We've got some erosion of the bank and also the bridge," TxDOT area engineer Don Nyland said. "It's a four month project, and our thing is to get in there and get out as fast as we can."

TxDOT officials say they need to close the river to users from the Interstate-35 bridge to the construction site, so paddlers would have to carry their boats about one mile to get back in the water.

"I'd probably paddle back in the other direction. Yeah, we couldn't do that," Williamson said.

Canoe rental owner Duane Tegrotenhuis worries visitors this fall won't get the word about the closed section of river. He thinks they can find a shorter detour.

"We need to make sure that nobody comes down here and finds out that, 'Gee whiz, they're going to shut this thing down at I-35, now we got to turn around and go back to Lubbock,'" he said.

Tegrotenhuis said he hopes visitors know things will be different during the construction period, but it will be worth the wait.

City of San Marcos engineers, TXDOT and river users are getting together next week to work out a compromise on closing the river.

The Cape Road bridge project is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 and should be complete by the end of the year.

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