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Underpass to close March 31
Underpass to close.jpg
Motorists are being warned via digital signs that a section of Highway 380, more commonly known as Sparta Street, will close to thru traffic from March 31 to April 15. The railroad’s bridge, an underpass for traffic, is being replaced. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The underpass on Sparta Street is slated to close the morning of Thursday, March 31. 

Tri-County Railway Authority and Caney Fork & Western Railroad are replacing the existing railway bridge that comprises the Sparta Street overpass. Sparta Street, from West Sparta Street to Red Road, will be closed to thru traffic for two weeks. 

Delays – one in receiving materials and one due to weather – pushed the original project start date from Jan. 23 to March 31.

Street closure begins March 31 at 7 a.m. to set up the crane, receive steel spans, and other material. Once staging is complete, work begins to replace the existing concrete bridge with a steel bridge. 

The new bridge and the addition of caps on the existing concrete piers will increase the clearance under the bridge from 13 feet 11 inches to 15 feet even. The new clearance will allow larger vehicles to use the route and no longer require a low clearance designation.

Signs have been placed to alert drivers of the upcoming closure. 

At the start of the project, a barrier will be placed near the intersection of Sparta Street and West Sparta Street to divert eastbound traffic. Signage closing Sparta Street to thru traffic will be placed near Red Road to divert westbound traffic.

The detour is for thru-traffic only. Access to businesses and residences located between the railroad’s overpass and Red Road will be available at the intersection of Sparta Street and Red Road. 

A flagger will be stationed at that intersection to facilitate traffic flow during heavy traffic periods.

The replacement project is anticipated to end by April 15.