"Sargent bridge ribbon cutting marks new era" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
A ribbon cutting for Sargent’s ‘Corkscrew’ Bridge involved local and state officials, contractors, residents and TxDOT employees. Shown, from left: Robert Vallejo, Project Superintendent; Paul Reitz (previous district engineer); Martin C. Horst (current Yoakum District Engineer); Ryan Simper, TxDOT Area Engineer; County Judge Nate McDonald; Paula Gibson with State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst; Nancy Wollam, District Director
Office of State Rep. Cody Vasut; and Jonathan Knoll, Project Manager.

  Ribbon cutting ceremonies for TxDOT’s $43 million FM 457 Sargent “Corkscrew” Bridge were held before about 50 people in the shadow of the extraordinary span Friday morning, July 16.
   “Thank you for delivering an engineering marvel,” County Judge Nate McDonald told the sizable contingent of TxDOT officials and employees.
   “You’ve built one hell of span,” the judge added.
   McDonald briefly reflected on Texas’ last swing bridge that was replaced by the new bridge that opened to traffic April 8.
   “We loved our swing bridge,” the judge continued, “but it became a choke point for commerce (in the Intracoastal Waterway) and that’s been relieved.
   “A lot of business floats on the canal.
   “Sargent deserves a bridge like this and as safe passage over the waterway,” McDonald said.
   He gave a shout out to sub-contractors Matagorda Materials and Matagorda Concrete and praised TxDOT for using local companies in the project.
   TxDOT’s Yoakum Area Engineer Ryan Simper gave a brief history of the project, beginning with the initial hearings on the bridge in 2013 at Sargent.

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