The bridge portion of the Erwin railroad overpass is taking shape (Brad Hicks/Johnson City Press).
ERWIN — The bridge portion of the long-awaited railroad overpass project in Erwin is nearly in place, giving residents a clearer idea of the shape the project will take once it is complete.
Bridge beam installation is scheduled to be completed today. According to Mark Nagi, Region 1 community relations officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, one of the abutments is currently having its backwall poured and expansion joint constructed. The bridge deck is scheduled to begin pouring within the next two weeks, Nagi said.
“The sewer is currently being replaced along Main Street between 5th and 6th streets,” Nagi said in an email. “The sewer is to be replaced up to 7th Street. When the sewer construction is complete, the water line will be replaced as well in the same area. Once this is completed, then the storm drainage will be completed and grading work will begin again on the Main Street portion of the project.”
The railroad overpass project, which has been in the works for around two decades and is being overseen by TDOT, essentially calls for Tenn. Highway 107, also known as Second Street, to be connected to Main Avenue through the construction of a one-half mile “bridge” that will pass over the CSX railroad tracks that cross Second Street. Trains crossing the tracks on Second Street frequently result in traffic backups along Second Street. The overpass would allow motorists to bypass the trains to get from Main Avenue to Second Street, and vice versa.
The construction contract was previously awarded to Charles Blalock & Sons Inc., and the project is estimated to cost approximately $9.4 million.
According to Nagi, the project is currently 41.4 percent complete, and its estimated completion date is Oct. 31.