‘Structurally sound’: Engineers check I-35 flyover after tornado bends light pole


AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a tornado passed near a flyover connecting two major Central Texas roads, a team of engineers have evaluated the flyover and determined it to be structurally sound.

KXAN meteorologists spotted the tornado passing near Interstate 35 and State Highway 45 on Monday evening, during severe storms. Footage of the incident shows dozens of cars slowing down on the road and a high-mast light pole located on the flyover bent in half by strong winds.

A spokesperson with the Texas Department of Transportation told KXAN it closed the flyover briefly Monday night, so its crews could safely remove the damaged pole. She said bridge engineers with the agency evaluated the structural integrity of the flyover.

Another inspection occurred on Tuesday morning after the sun came up, according to the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said TxDOT has inspected state bridges and flyovers after various types of weather events and “has teams available for evaluation immediately after such events occur.”

The spokesperson said this bridge — and all bridges in the Texas highway system — are supposed to be evaluated every two years. During the routine inspections, teams typically first assess the condition of the bridge visually. More in-depth evaluations and testing are performed, if needed.

This stretch of road was built in 2006, according to TxDOT.