Abilene residents say construction affecting 'singing bridge'


ABILENE, Texas - As construction continues on the MLK Bridge, some Abilene residents have wondered if it'll keep its musical reputation.

"With the construction that's going on now, the sound dynamic seems to have changed," said Wayne Lisenbee, an Abilene resident since 1993.

The bridge has been under construction since early September to widen and restore the roads to keep them up to standards. But many Abilenians know the route for the musical tones that reverberate off of tires.

"The singing is caused by what's called tining, in which it is created by small grooves in the pavement of the bridge to help with drainage and traction," said Mary Belle Turner with the Texas Department of Transportation. "So when they go in and make those repairs, they will duplicate the tining that's there, and so it will still sing."

Though the distinct sound of the bridge has worn down over the years due to regular wear and tear, people in Abilene still remember the sounds it made.

"My kids loved to cross the singing bridge, so anytime we'd come to this side of town, they'd beg us to go over the singing bridge, and now my grandson, who's five, wants to go over the singing bridge," said Lisenbee.

At the end of the west side of the Bridge, Farolito's has sat for nearly 83 years. Matt Herrera says his family lives around the bridge and he remembers playing under it, growing up.

"We played out there a lot, you know, it's just a pretty sound, a nice sound to hear," said Herrera.

"We roll the windows down and they stick their heads out and they want me to speed up so it changes the sound, the love listening to the singing bridge," said Lisenbee.

The bridge construction will continue until March 2018.