Jamison Construction LLC began repairs to the steel truss bridge over German Creek and Cherokee Lake on State Route 375/Lakeshore Drive in Grainger County, Tenn., Sept. 15.
The project requires the entire bridge to close to traffic for approximately four months. Due to temperature limitations, additional repairs may have to be performed next spring. Repairs totaling $1.7 million will include concrete bridge deck work, removal and replacement of bridge joints, repair of deteriorated areas of concrete and the repainting of the entire steel bridge structure. Construction crews will work extended hours to complete the repairs as soon as possible.
“TDOT bridge engineers looked at all repair options in an effort to keep at least one lane open during the repairs. But with the roadway on the bridge being less than 18 feet wide and the extensive repairs that need to be done, it’s simply not feasible to keep the bridge open,” explained TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges. “The bridge is structurally sound but it’s critically important to stay ahead of any problem with preventative maintenance because of the age of the structure.”
The two lane through truss bridge that averages 2,450 vehicles per day was built in 1941 and received a “fair” rating after being inspected by TDOT bridge personnel in May. A “fair” rating indicates the bridge is safe for travel and all primary components are sound with repairs necessary as suggested in the inspection report.
The SR 375 bridge repair project is part of an aggressive program that has dedicated more than $130 million to the replacement and repairs of Tennessee’s bridges in FY 2007/2008 and will dedicate another $116.6 million for bridge repair and replacement in FY 2008/2009.