Stephenville motorists who rely on the Graham Street Bridge as a means of travel will want to plan an alternate route Tuesday. A recent press release from Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) said that Graham Street, which runs adjacent to Stephenville City Park, will be closed throughout the day between Long Street and Cooper’s Country Store south of the bridge. The passage will reopen to one lane of traffic before dark.

The closure, although frustrating for area business owners and motorists, is a necessary step in completing the renovation project.

“This section of Graham Street will be closed to accommodate the delivery of concrete beams, which will form the support structure for the new bridge deck,” said Ben McCleery, TxDOT project manager.

According to McCleery, the construction project, which has diverted and slowed traffic for months, is now in its final phases.

“We had a meeting last week with representatives from Orval Hall Excavating, LTD (the contactor completing the project) and they are showing that everything will be complete sometime around the last week of July or early August,” McCleery said. “To hit that projected completion date, they have doubled the size of the crew working on the project.”

Once the support structures are in place, the bridge will finally start to take shape.

“Once the beams are in place, the bridge deck will be formed and the cement will be poured for the deck, sidewalk and railings. When that is complete, the final steps will be to complete the dirt work and asphalt at each end of the bridge. “

McCleery said the project has been slowed due to rainy weather, but crews are working diligently to get the job done.

“The only real delays have been weather related. There have been no issues with design or the supply of materials,” McCleery said. “The delays were anticipated at the beginning of the project since they are working in a flood plane.”

To avoid untimely delays and back ups, travelers are being advised to seek alternative routes. U-turns will be allowed at the south end closure, but avoid entering Graham Street from US 67/377 if possible.