US-90 bridge in Liberty County reopens at limited capacity as work starts on flood-damaged roads

Jiovanni Lieggi Image
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Flood-damaged roads leaving small SE Texas towns stranded
As the water begins to recede from heavy storms in southeast Texas, officials are beginning to look at roadways ruined by floodwaters.

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- As parts of southeast Texas begin to recover from storms, we are still getting a first-hand look at the damage that was left on roadways after heavy rain and knee-high floodwaters.

Most of the roads following the weekend were closed as they were impassible due to rising waters.

Houston TranStar reported on several highways that were closed due to high water, including many still closed as of Monday.

One central connector from Houston to smaller towns, the US-90 bridge over the Trinity River, was forced to close as a precaution. The Texas Department of Transportation reopened the bridge at a limited capacity, allowing eastbound traffic on a two-lane configuration. However, the westbound lanes remain closed due to high water.

Elsewhere, ABC13 went out to Liberty County after receiving a tip of a collapsed bridge, FM-787, a major roadway for residents in the area.

The photos show a broad, rectangular-sized hole in the middle of the road, which has been blocked off in both directions. The bridge reportedly buckled amid the aftermath of the flooding.

"We have a catastrophe here," Romayor resident Nancy Murphy said.

Murphy said the community needs help with supplies.

The detour around the collapsed bridge is more than an hour drive.

"Once the water goes down and we can go out, it's going to be a one-hour drive to get to and from Cleveland to here, and people just can't afford that. This is a low-income community here," Romayor resident Sonia McMerrin said.

A Red Cross spokesperson said they will attempt to deliver supplies to the area.

The closest Red Cross location to get supplies is at 1103 N. Dunbar Ave. in Livingston, which is still a long drive for some near Romayor.

A TxDOT spokesperson was not able to say when crews would begin and or finish repairs on the bridge, explaining that the conditions are currently dangerous.

Another major closure happened just north of Houston in the Rio Villa area. Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey posted a photo to X, formerly known as Twitter, showing the uneven, washed road.

The commissioner stated that they will work with Precinct 3's Road and Bridge crew to work on emergency repairs once the floodwaters recede.

Agencies have begun assessing and repairing damages in certain areas affected by flooding and storms.

FEMA and state officials were out in Montgomery County on Monday, urging those who have damage to report it in order to receive federal aid.

Still, the threat of running into water on the streets and highways is not over. Officials are telling residents to please use caution and not drive in an area with high waters.

For news updates, follow Jiovanni Lieggi on Facebook, X and Instagram.