The City of Smithville will be closing the bridge on Holmes Creek Road over Fall Creek as of Friday, October 30 due to a Tennessee Department of Transportation Evaluation Report which details various bridge deficiencies.
The bridge is to be replaced once plans are developed and bids are let for the project which could still be months away.
According to Kevin Robinson, the city's public works director, a portion of Holmes Creek Road near the bridge on both sides will be closed next Friday and will remain closed until a new bridge is built. "I got an email Tuesday from the state saying we have two weeks to close Holmes Creek bridge down town hill behind Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. So Friday, October 30 we will be closing it down for traffic and it will be closed for months. After we close the bridge, there will only be two ways around it either by way of Riley Avenue or Allen's Ferry Road," Robinson told WJLE.
"It's not a short term process. The city can't build the bridge so the engineers will draw it up (plans) and they will send it (plans) off to the state to get it approved. Once they approve it, the engineers will put it out for bids (to contractors). If we have enough state aid it will cost the city two percent (in matching funds to help fund the bridge replacement)," said Robinson
The Holmes Creek Road Bridge is 42 feet and five inches long and 33 feet and six inches wide. The structure consists of one simply supported steel I-beam span with a concrete deck and an asphalt wearing surface. The substructure consists of concrete abutments.
At the time of the last inspection, the bridge was posted for a gross weight limit of three tons for all vehicles.
Due to the noted deficiencies, TDOT has recommended closing the bridge to all traffic with proper signs and barricades; replacing all steel I-beams, replacing the concrete deck; installing proper diaphragms or cross frames between all steel I-beams at supports and at one third point of the span; repairing the scour blowhole near abutment 2 and protecting from future scour; repairing the bridgerail on the right, and replacing the missing paddleboard on the left side of approach 1.
After the steel I-beams and concrete deck have been replaced, the bridge will need to be re-inspected and re-evaluated in order to determine its load carrying capacity and a weight limit posting, if required.