Traffic

The new 57th Street Bridge in Temple will open to traffic Thursday following a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday on the new bridge over Interstate 35.

City officials and Texas Department of Transportation representatives will highlight the significance of the project before cutting the ribbon and opening the bridge to traffic, according to a news release.

The ceremony is open to the public. Parking is available in the Clem Mikeska’s parking lot located at 217 S. 57th St. near the bridge.

The I-35 project in Temple has been delayed by about a year due to right of way and utility issues.

I-35 construction through Bell County, with significant delays that led to the loss of businesses in Salado and Temple concerned elected officials, including state Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, and U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.

“It’s been a real difficult challenge,” Shine previously told the Telegram. “Over the past two years I’ve established a relationship with TxDOT and the railroad. There have been multiple issues.”

Ken Roberts, a TxDOT spokesman, said the agency opened four lanes on the northbound and southbound sides of I-35 in July. He told the Telegram that most major construction should be complete by the fall.