Tag Archives: bridges

TDOT blows up a bridge

Here’s the email from the Tennessee Department of Transportation sent along to media with a link to the video:

Near Smithville in DeKalb County, spans from the 1948 truss bridge on U.S. 70 over the Caney Fork River and Sligo Road were taken down today. TDOT is nearing completion of a $39 million project to replace the truss bridge with a new welded steel plate girder bridge. The new bridge was open to traffic in early August 2015. Demolition of the old bridge is an important phase in the project. The project is slated for total completion in June 2016, but it is very likely that it will be completed ahead of schedule.

If you keep watching after the first video, there are more afterwards.

New bridge spanning TN River opens in Marion County

JASPER, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Department of Transportation has opened a new bridge over the Tennessee River at U.S. Highway 41, more than a year later than expected.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (http://bit.ly/13W8uOV) the $21.5 million span replaces one built in 1929 and closed in 2012.

The new bridge was originally supposed to be complete in August 2013, but problems with rock beneath the river near the piers added more than a year of additional work. The problem also forced the closure of the existing bridge, which planners originally wanted to keep open until the new bridge was complete.

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer was at the opening ceremonies on Friday. He said Highway 41 is an important route for the region that is often used as an alternate to Interstate 24.

Linda Castle owns the Anchor Inn Bait & Tackle store at one end of the bridge. When the old bridge closed, it cut off her store in the Haletown community from the Marion County Park campground on the other side of the river.

“I am absolutely excited,” Castle said Friday. “I hope (customers) remember us and come back.”

Castle said she plans to advertise the renewed link across the river and her new lunch counter so campers and anglers will know there is a place near the water to eat and buy supplies.

“I’m still here, people, I’m still here,” she said. “I survived the storm.”

AP story on bad bridges, TN version

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dozens of Tennessee bridges are among the thousands nationwide that have advanced deterioration or are at risk of collapsing, federal data show. That works out to a small percentage of the state’s total number of bridges, but it could be enough to cause concern among drivers who travel them regularly.

The Associated Press analyzed data involving 607,380 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory, which are subject to National Bridge Inspection Standards. On a national basis, there are 65,605 structurally deficient bridges and 20,808 fracture critical bridges, according to the most recently available federal government data.

A bridge is deemed “fracture critical” when it does not have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails. A bridge is “structurally deficient” when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component of the span has advanced deterioration or other problems that lead inspectors to deem its condition “poor” or worse.

Some 7,795 bridges nationwide fall into both categories. Experts call that combination of red flags particularly problematic.

In Tennessee, 64 of the state’s 19,721 bridges listed on the federal inventory are both fracture critical and structurally deficient. B.J. Doughty, spokeswoman for the state Transportation Department, said the department has current records on 57 of the bridges, which span the state from the Wolf River near Memphis in West Tennessee to Flat Fort Creek in the scenic Frozen Head State Park in East Tennessee.
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Bridge Work (or the lack thereof)

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average U.S. bridge was built to last 50 years and is already 42 years old.
That’s one nugget note in a Bartholomew Sullivan rundown on the nation’s infrastructure problems and the failure of politicians to do anything much about it.
At the same time, Steve Ahillen reports that things aren’t as bad in Tennessee as in other states, insofar as bad bridges go. But then, they’re not so good either.
And there’s a map showing the location of problem bridges in East Tennessee.