Bridges need to go

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh


Adam’s Bayou bridges have been a topic of conversation since Harvey, and even further back for many.

TxDOT is accepting public comments on the Interstate 10 project’s next phase. This same phase affects the Adam’s Bayou feeder road bridges.

Built in 1979, it is well known in the area that if it rains, chances are there will be water over the road, preventing the use of the turnaround at Adam’s Bayou.

“In early November, when Jack met with me and Judge Crooks, he said the study was wrapping up and that he would be glad to give us a copy, even inviting critique,” Tom Clary said in an email to The Orange Leader.

“The study is still preliminary and under review. It will not be available until finalized. Right now I do not have a timeline on the review process. Larry will follow up and get back to you,” Director of Transportation, Planning and Development, TxDOT Adam Jack replied in an email to Clary dated Feb. 12, 2019.

However, at the Feb. 7, 2019, Public Meeting, “A hydraulic analysis says it does not cause flooding upstream,” Dupre said, as reported in The Orange Leader.

One needs to ask, how residents in Orange County know the area in question floods, yet we are being told by one the site does not cause flooding, yet, another says the study is not yet complete.

According to conversations with Bob Baptista and Tom Clary, both of Orange, the pilings under the bridges are the culprit.

The pilings in the channel are slowing the flow of stormwater.  The new lanes will be built alongside the current lanes, putting even more pilings in the water to catch debris. Baptista has been before Orange City Council with pictures showing the logs blocking water flow at the feeder road bridges.

These two men have worked hard, studied and done their research while trying to reach out to TxDOT with their concerns.

Removing these bridges would be a benefit to Orange, as it could prevent another fatality. There have already been two, one in 1981 and another in 1999. There should not be a third.

However, removing the bridges is not the only answer.

The pilings under the bridges are also an issue. Logs and debris catch on them and create a makeshift dam. One way to prevent this is not by adding more pilings as per the project plans currently show, but by removing the pilings and constructing a bridge such as the Cow Bayou bridge in Vidor.

Pictures of the difference between the two bridges can be seen at with the story ‘Concerns proposed projects for Adam’s Bayou Bridge may not be the right choice for Orange’.

Cow Bayou clearly shows fewer obstacles in the waterway, thus less debris collecting and building up.

There is still time to ask questions concerning the project as TxDOT is still accepting public comments.

For general questions or concerns regarding the proposed project, contact Larry Sheppard, PE, TxDOT Project manager at 409-892-7311 or at

To provide your comments on the proposed projects by mail to:

TxDOT Beaumont District
8350 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX 77708

Must be postmarked by February 22, 2019

Or email on or before February 22, 2019.