03 January 2012
Unexpected ground conditions have forced the closure of the Marion County truss bridge on US 41 highway until construction of the adjacent bridge is completed.
The original plan of Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) called for the truss bridge over the Tennessee River to remain open as the new multi-span steel plate girder bridge was built. Unforeseen circumstances have made it advisable to close the truss bridge for safety reasons.
As work on the new bridge progressed, construction crews encountered unexpected problems. While performing underwater excavation for new bridge piers, they discovered unanticipated sub-surface conditions that caused concern and halted work.
Some of the rock that the new bridge piers were to be built upon contained voids and unsuitable material, resulting in the need to construct the footings deeper than originally planned. Excavation, drilling and blasting will be required to construct the new bridge piers and so TDOT engineers have decided to close the truss bridge is closed to through traffic while the work is being performed.
The bridge replacement project is now due for completion in February 2014. TDOT will inspect the existing bridge once the new piers have been constructed to determine if it can be re-opened prior to completion of the new bridge.
Prime contractor for the US$21.5 million project is Britton Bridge.