Residents annoyed by unrepaired bridge
QUINTANA, TX The Quintana Bridge links Quintana to Freeport and has large gaps that are several inches wide. The state has made some temporary repairs but that's creating more problems. From his backyard to the Gulf waves, Jimmy Kall was enjoying his retirement. "Just another day in paradise," Kall said. "It's serene, very calm and quiet." Or at least it was. Afternoons on his back deck aren't what they used to be for him and his neighbors. "You want to sit out here and have a cup of coffee, and it just never stops banging," he said. "We just had the L and G plant let out, so we've had the bang, bang, bang going on," Quintana resident Steven Alford said. When the Quintana Bridge began separating at a couple of joints in late 2008, there were concerns. Many complained. The Texas Department of Transportation said the bridge was structurally sound but made a temporary fix. Temporary turned into about a year and a half of banging to get it fixed. "Sometimes you got to stop and hold your conversation because of it," Kall said. Even Quintana's mayor, Wallace Neeley, is fed up. "I don't think if these bumps and banging noise were in TxDOT's back yard or front yard that they would put up with it either, and that's what is so disheartening to me," Neeley said. The people who live there say they want a permanent and more peaceful solution. The state says the project is on the books but they still don't have a definitive timeline. A spokesperson from the transportation department says a contract has been awarded to a company for bridge repairs, and they are waiting for materials, but no start date has been set. "God knows how much it cost to build that bridge. They can't fix a small problem like that?" Kall said. So the people of Quintana wish they could start the countdown until the bridge is repaired. Until then, they're just left counting the bangs. "OK, it banged 112 times while I drank my coffee out on the deck," Alford said.