Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County bridge over Hubbard Creek Lake to be reopened today, Jan. 7

Stephens County bridge over Hubbard Creek Lake to be reopened today, Jan. 7
January 07
15:43 2024

By Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The bridge on U.S. Highway 180 West over Hubbard Creek Lake, aka the “Mile-Long Bridge,” was reopened this evening, four days after the Texas Department of Transportation announced that it hoped to reopen the bridge within four to seven days.

County Judge Michael Roach notified the Breckenridge Texan this afternoon that the bridge should be reopened between about 5 and 6 p.m. today, Sunday, Jan. 7. Shortly before 4 p.m., Roach updated his Facebook post to say that the bridge is now open.

“All vehicle traffic is allowed on the bridge, just as before,” he wrote on the Stephens County Facebook page shortly after 3:30 p.m. today. “Please be patient as crews remove barriers and allow the public access.”

Additionally, the Breckenridge ISD Facebook page announced at about 3:45 p.m. that the school district will have regular bus service on Monday, Jan. 8.

The bridge was closed by TxDOT on Dec. 22 due to damage to the supports under the bridge. According to a statement from TxDOT on Friday, Jan. 5, TxDOT’s contractor had a successful concrete pour on Thursday, Jan. 4. TxDOT was monitoring the concrete daily until it reached full compressive strength to safely open the bridge to traffic, the statement said. At that time, the estimated cure time was between four to seven days with a target concrete cure time of four days.

The bridge closure began with a concerned citizen in late December. According to Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from someone who was fishing at the lake on Thursday, Dec. 21, and said he saw something concerning with the concrete at the bridge. The Sheriff’s Office contacted TxDOT, who inspected the bridge on Friday, Dec. 22, and shut it down that evening.

After the announcement that the bridge would be shutting down, Judge Roach, who also serves as the county’s emergency coordinator, called an emergency meeting with the Stephens County Commissioners and other county officials; the meeting was attended by emergency responders, City of Breckenridge officials, Breckenridge Independent School District officials and a few concerned citizens. No one from TxDOT attended the meeting, which was held in the district courtroom.

The local officials worked out suggested detour routes, and TxDOT also provided a detour route.

On Saturday, Dec. 23, the county judge issued a disaster declaration for the county because the closure “has resulted in severe disruptions to the county’s emergency services and the well-being of our residents.”

In the Disaster Declaration, Roach says that “approximately 15% of the county’s population is now cut off from rapid emergency services, leading to extended response times of 45 minutes or longer. Moreover, residents in the affected areas are facing extended drives for necessities, further exacerbating the situation.”

Click the following links to read the Breckenridge Texan’s coverage of the bridge closure:

Dec. 22, 2023 (5 p.m.): TxDOT to shut down ‘Mile-Long Bridge’ as soon as possible, according to county judge

Dec. 23, 2023 (1:40 a.m.): TxDOT closes ‘Mile-Long Bridge’ over Hubbard Creek Lake for repairs; timeline for project undetermined at this time

Dec. 23, 2023 (3:40 p.m.): County Judge declares disaster following TxDOT’s closure of Hubbard Creek Lake bridge

Dec. 26, 2023 (5:30 p.m.): Officials plan to reopen bridge before school starts with temporary repair

Jan. 5, 2023 (1:40 p.m.): TxDOT says Hubbard Creek Lake bridge could be reopened by Jan. 11


Cutline, top photo: Workers cross the bridge over Hubbard Creek Lake on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 7. The bridge is scheduled was reopened shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, according to Stephens County Judge Michael Roach. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4 p.m. to provide updated information from County Judge Michael Roach that the bridge is now open.


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