A bridge project that’s endured for nearly three years could be less than two weeks away from completion.
Replacement of Hennessee Bridge on Highway 288 is almost finished, according to TDOT.
“If the contractor maintains the current pace of work, all lanes should be open to traffic by Christmas,” said TDOT spokesperson Jennifer Flynn.
According to Flynn, paving has been completed and the remainder of work includes removing the crane pad from the water on the Collins River, hauling dirt off the project site, and putting texture coating on the bridge.
“After TDOT conducts the final inspection of the project, the contractor will likely be addressing punch-list items through January,” said Flynn.
The bridge cost $4.5 million and construction was done by Palmertree Construction Company. It was expected to be an 18-month project, but a number of unexpected issues led to delays.
“This was really a much-needed project,” said County Commissioner Tommy Savage. “The old bridge was 18 feet wide from curb to curb. The new bridge is 36 feet wide. It would be scary to see school buses go over that old bridge so this is really a big improvement in terms of safety.”
Savage said he would like to arrange a ribbon-cutting ceremony with county and state officials in attendance when work on the bridge is officially complete.
“The new bridge will be good for commerce and really help all the nursery truck traffic,” said Savage. “It will be a good day when this bridge opens.”