Construction is due to start in January on new bridges over the Sabine River near Logansport after a $20.4 million construction bid got the green light from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
Two decades in the making, the groundbreaking will be held this month despite being threatened earlier because of increased construction costs that Louisiana had to pay. Logansport Mayor Katherine Freeman has been behind the project, but the plan to replace the bridges actually began under the administration of another Freeman, the late Mayor Dennis Freeman, who died in 2007. Dennis Freeman pushed lawmakers in Texas and Louisiana to keep the bridge replacement plan going, and the present Mayor Freeman has concentrated her efforts there as well.
James Construction Group LLC, of Baton Rouge, plans to build a two-lane span close to the existing railroad bridge to accommodate drivers traveling east from Shelby County, Texas, into Logansport. After that span is completed, the U.S. 84 bridge will be torn down and replaced with another two-lane span to handle west-bound traffic. An average of 12,500 motorists travel across the Sabine River Bridge daily.
The Sabine River (U.S. 84) bridge at Logansport was, at one time, the only known variable-depth steel girder bridge in Texas, according to the Library of Congress. The bridge -- distinguished by its central cantilever, suspended span and unique steel railings -- is one of three remaining of the original six built between 1927 and 1937 connecting Texas and Louisiana over the Sabine River.