It might feel like Christmas for motorists on Hennessee Bridge. A partial completion is expected that will allow use of the new bridge by the upcoming holiday.
“The contractor has completed the first phase of the new bridge, and plans to swap traffic onto it by Christmas,” said TDOT spokesperson Jennifer Flynn. “After the new year he will start demolishing the existing structure by taking off the deck and some of the steel parts.”
That’s where the holiday spirit ends, as the lane will be tighter than the current 11-foot width.
“The new bridge’s lane will be narrower for the time being because there will be concrete barrier rail on it,” said Flynn. “So, it will be 10.5 feet wide while the project is going on.”
Extreme force will be used to help remove the existing bridge.
“Currently tentatively scheduled for late January, the contractor plans to use explosives to bring down the main steel girders,” said Flynn. “Once that is down and the old piers are removed, the contractor will begin building the second half of the new bridge.”
Estimated completion date is August 2019. Palmer Construction Company is handling the work.
Traffic will be maintained and controlled by a temporary signal for the safety of the traveling public. Motorists should expect periodic delays and use caution in the work zone.