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Floodgates closed while Hillebrandt Bayou Bridge work continues

The opening of the floodgates at FM 365 in Port Acres will have to wait at least another day as workers replace traffic signals at Hillebrandt Bayou Bridge down the road.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda is receding and allowing crews with the Texas Department of Transportation a chance to reach the site, Phil Kelley, Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7 general manager, said.

“TxDOT is trying to get the construction site cleaned up and restored before traffic is allowed to travel,” Kelley said, adding they asked DD7 to keep the gates closed until traffic signals are replaced.

Sarah Dupre, public information officer with TxDOT Beaumont, said they are working on a $14.6 million project to replace the Hillebrandt Bayou Bridge and work began in October 2018. Traffic has been down to one lane for a while as crews work on the other half of the structure.

The overall project is expected to be completed by 2023 and the bridge should open to two lanes of traffic in 2021.

But for now there’s other work to be done.

“The traffic signals were completely both under water,” Dupre said.