by USFS staff
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, Walker County and Rep. Kevin Brady’s office recently met to discuss options to repair or replace Stubblefield Bridge which was heavily damaged due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey last fall.
The bridge, located off FM 1374 about 11 miles west of New Waverly, leads to Stubblefield Recreation Area in the Sam Houston National Forest and also serves as a shortcut between Montgomery and Walker counties. Since the storm, the bridge and the adjacent pedestrian bridges which also serves as fishing piers have been closed and the Forest Service has been working with Walker County, which maintains the bridge, and Congressman Brady’s office to secure funding to either repair or replace the structure.
Forest Service engineer Steve Lewis said because of the large sinkhole on the north end of the bridge and the erosion around the foundation on the western side, a structural consultant has recommended extending both the road and pedestrian bridges by 80 feet. Depending on options whether to replace or repair, it could take three to five years to complete.
Because of persistent and expensive vandalism at the bridge, Walker County and the Forest Service will install concrete barriers and hazard signs at both ends of the bridge to keep foot traffic off the unsafe structure.