Staff photo by Tommy Millsaps
A bridge replacement project is under way on Old Highway 68 near Sweetwater. An century-old
narrow bridge has been removed to make way for a brand new, wider bridge.
|Published: 9:06 AM, 04/15/2013
||Last updated: 9:06 AM, 04/15/2013
Author: Jessica Cross
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
SWEETWATER-Motorists on Old Highway 68
will have to deal with a short detour for the next several months.
The bridge at Fork Creek Crossing near
Sweetwater is being completely replaced after an inspection in the
fall of 2012 showed a sufficiency rating of 31.5 on a 100 point
"That bridge was 100 years old," said Road Superintendent Steve Teague. "We found a date on the
bridge of 1913."
While the Monroe County Highway
Department is in charge of the project, it is being completed through
the Tennessee State Aid Grant Program.
"The state pays 80 percent of the
project and the county pays 20 percent," said Teague, adding that
the bridge is on the list of Tennessee Highway bridges.
Teague said the estimated total cost
for the bridge replacement is $155,000.
Highway, Inc. Contractors out of
Cookeville received the bid to complete the project and began work in
late March to remove the bridge. Teague hopes the project will be
completed within four months.
"If the weather stays good, it may be
less than that," said Teague.
In the end, people traveling Old
Highway 68 will not only cross a new bridge, but the bridge will be
wider and more passable.
"It was really narrow," said
Teague. "The new bridge will be easier for two-way traffic."
Right now, traffic is being briefly
detoured around the construction work. The detour will be open the
entire time of construction.
"It will be a little inconvenient,
but it's going to be better in the long run," said Teague.
The detour will not affect travel time,
"By the time they slow down, we might
be talking two minutes, but there's not really any delay in travel at
all," said Teague.
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