The Ridgewalk Interchange is making process to its December 2012 goal, and the next step is bringing down the old Ridgewalk Parkway bridge over I-575. To do this, traffic will be impacted Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1.
The demolition project will cause both northbound and southbound traffic along I-575 to be diverted to the new exit and entrance ramps of Ridgewalk Parkway.
Capital Projects Manager Tal Harber said this is being done so the bridge demolition can take place with speed and without endangerment to traffic that would otherwise be traveling under the bridge on I-575.
The demolition is expected to start at 10 p.m. March 30 and last till noon April 1. Harber noted the project could be rescheduled or take longer than expected like any other construction work because of weather or unforeseen circumstances.
Officers will be present during the entire demolition process to help with the detour. The , and other emergency personnel will be able to cross the bridge during this time to reach the west side of I-575 if needed.
“Although this admittedly does present an inconvenience, the inconvenience is a very short and temporary one compared to the alternative of a lengthy process over weeks of consecutively shutting down lanes on I-575 and Ridgewalk Parkway,” Harber said. “The decision to conduct this demolition as planned is a decision that GDOT and CW Matthews has made with the desire to get in and get out of the situation as quickly as possible for just this brief two day window of time.”
Brookshire residents and visitors will most likely be the most impacted because the bridge is the only point of entry for the subdivision. Here is the traffic routes needed to be taken concerning any travel to and from the subdivision, as the bridge may not be used during that weekend:
A. All traffic coming out of Brookshire will be directed to the southbound entrance ramp from Ridgewalk Parkway onto I-575.
B. Those leaving Brookshire wishing to access local surface streets will need to access them by way of the Towne Lake Parkway interchange.
C. Those leaving Brookshire wishing to travel north on I-575 will take the southbound entrance ramp, exit at Towne Lake Parkway, turn left, and then take the northbound entrance ramp back on to I-575.
D. Those coming to Brookshire traveling south on I-575 will exit at the new Ridgewalk Parkway southbound exit ramp, and turn right.
E. Those coming to Brookshire traveling north on I-575 will need to travel with the detour up and over Ridgewalk Parkway, but will have to continue north along I-575 to the Sixes Road interchange, exit, turn left, then take the southbound entrance ramp back onto I-575 south, then exit at the new Ridgewalk Parkway southbound exit ramp, and turn right.
F. Those wishing to come to Brookshire that are using local surfaces streets will either need to access I-575 southbound at Sixes Road or access I-575 at Towne Lake Parkway or Highway 92, travel north up to Sixes Road, and come back south as described in Item E.
He explained the ramps are only being used for this special event and will not be open to the public until the Interchange project is completed.
“The ramps will only be available for use after Ridgewalk Parkway and the intersections of the ramps with Ridgewalk have been completed to a point at which GDOT officials confirm the work is complete, that all public safety requirements have been achieved per plan and the State can issue a permit for their use,” Harber said.
Also coming up is the shift of Ridgewalk Parkway lanes on Wednesday, March 28.
“The actual shift of lanes will take no more than about 5 minutes, therefore there should be no noticeable impact to traffic in and out of Brookshire subdivision,” Harber said.
Editor's Note: The original time said the demolition is expected to start at 10 a.m. March 30, and that is incorrect. It is 10 p.m. March 30.