Rio Hondo lift bridge reopened

The Rio Hondo lift bridge is back in service. It was reopened to traffic on Sunday after contractors repaired a damaged I-beam. By Diana Eva Maldonado, Valley Morning Star

Traffic is flowing once again across the Rio Hondo lift bridge.

On Sunday, contractors completed their work to repair a dented I-beam heavily damaged in a bus accident nine days ago. TxDOT awarded Gibson and Associates of Balch Springs a $111,000 contract for the repairs.

On Facebook, the Rio Hondo Police Department was quick to announce the opening, “Rio Hondo lift bridge is back in service.”

The bridge was damaged on Friday, Dec. 5, when a Trailboss charter bus carrying ICE detainees rammed into the side of the bridge, bending one of the eight major lift support pylons.

A video camera on the bridge recorded the Trailboss bus striking the right-hand curb right where two lanes merge into one to cross the bridge. The speed limit is 30 mph.

The closure also kept barge traffic from traveling to and from the Port of Harlingen on the Arroyo Colorado because TxDOT could not lift the center span of the bridge.

dmaldonado@valleystar.com