AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A heads up for residents and travelers along I-40 this weekend, as the Bell street bridge and a section of I-40 underneath will be closed for repairs.
TxDOT has plans to close the Bell street bridge and lanes in both directions of I-40.
The closure is expected to cause a big impact to your weekend schedule, so plan accordingly.
Starting Friday December 1 at 8:00 p.m., the Bell street bridge across I-40 will be closed.
An hour later at 9:00 p.m. I-40 will be closed, and traffic in both directions will be detoured to frontage roads.
Bell street bridge was originally closed in July for much needed repairs.
After more than two months of an accelerated construction project, crews were able to open the bridge back up late in the day on October 19.
In an effort to further the project, crews are closing I-40 and the bridge in order to install support beams.
The support beams will be used to finish work on the eastbound turn around.
TxDOT Public Information Officer for the Amarillo Area Sonja Gross said the closures are necessary to insure the safety of residents and construction crews.
"As your doing your Christmas shopping this weekend, you are going to need to find some alternate plans," said Gross. "[TxDOT is] going to have to close that main bridge down one more time so we can out some bridge beams up. That way it's safe for our construction crews, and safe for the traveling public as well."
Crews are hoping to get work done in a fast and efficient manner so that way the bridge can be reopened as soon as possible.
Gross said the Bell street project has a completion date slated for May of 2018. Drivers should be aware that further delays and closures are a possibility in the future.
This closure however, will be brief.
"This is going to be just a very short duration that we have the bridge closed," said Gross. "This time allows for the placement of those bridge beams for the eastbound turn around bride. [That way] the bridge will only be closed from 8:00 p.m. Friday evening, through 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning."
If you are traveling to the area of Bell street, you are advised to seek an alternate route.
On the south side of I-40, both Erik and Emil streets can be used to reach Western street and access the freeway.
If you are on the north side of I-40, you can use Plains Boulevard and its connection to Wolfin Avenue.
TxDOT is asking drivers not to use Enterprise Circle as it is a private road.
Gross tells NewsChannel 10 the Bell street project is just one of numerous bridge replacements TxDOT is currently working or has in plans.
Currently bridges at Arthur and Ross streets are under repair.
Sometime in the early part of next year, TxDOT is planning to begin work on bridge replacement and repairs for Pullman Road, Lakeside Drive, and Whitaker Road.
TxDOT is also planning to replace a bridge at Hollywood Road along I-27.