Dalhart Underpass Priority Project - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dalhart Underpass Priority Project

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Amarillo, TX - A Dalhart bridge underpass has been causing safety and mobility issues for years.

A newly funded project of $10.5 million is going toward improving clearance under the Union Pacific Railroad overpass on US 87.

Built in the '30s this underpass has seen its fair share of vehicles passing through.With an average vehicle count of about 9,400 a day, this route can get congested.

Paul Braun, TxDOT Spokesperson, said this underpass is a major commercial traffic hub.

It is part of the Ports-To-Plains corridor, which is a major traffic hub through Texas all the way to Canada.

The underpass became somewhat of a concern when trucks could not only not clear the underpass, but were diverted to another route.

Braun said if you do not have good mobility through an area, commercial traffic will try to avoid the area, which can add costs to those companies by having to go around.

As for safety, if they don't go around and they're too large a vehicle, there's a real danger hitting the overpass.

To solve this issue for the Dalhart community, the Texas Transportation Commission decided in June to make this project a priority and committed $8 million to construction costs.

The Amarillo district put in $2.5 million as well.

At this point all that is left is designing the project, getting the public's input, approving it, and putting it out for bid.

The bridge currently stands at 13 ft 7 inches. The underpass will be dug out, bringing the bridge clearance to 15 ft 6 inches, a foot over the federal minimum height standard.

The project is likely to get started after the bid letting in August, 2015 and will begin construction about 45 to 60 days after a bid is selected.