Morristown is seeking a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant to repair the most deficient bridge inside the city limits, a narrow bridge on Brights Pike, just east of Highway 25-E.
Mike Poteet, Morristown stormwater coordinator, says he hasn’t received confirmation, but he’s reasonably confident city government will get the $200,000 grant. It’s not clear if the money will cover all the construction costs.
If the TDOT awards the grant, the project will move forward in 2020, and the bridge will be closed to traffic for approximately two months, according to Poteet.
Apart from its narrow width, the bridge, which spans Spring Creek, has multiple problems that were identified in a 2017 bridge survey. The steel girders must be replaced; the soil around the bridge is eroding, the approach guardrails do not meet current standards; and the curb is broken, according to Poteet.
Also, the asphalt on both sides of the bridge has a “hollow sound,” which indicates possible voids beneath the surface.
The Brights Pike bridge was the only span inside the city limits that TDOT rated as poor. The worst of the remaining bridges rated fair condition or better, according to Poteet.