Two bridge projects valued at nearly $1 million each, to be considered by Elizabethton City Council on Thursday

John Thompson • Updated May 7, 2019 at 8:08 PM

ELIZABETHTON — During its next meeting on Thursday, the Elizabethton City Council will be considering approval for two bridge projects that will cost nearly $1 million each, but which will be paid for with mostly state and federal money.

One of the projects is to make repairs to the venerable Covered Bridge in downtown Elizabethton. It was built in 1882 for $3,000. The 154-foot long bridge spans  Doe River. The bridge sustained damage in a wind storm in 2017. The storm caused a noticeable lean in the east entrance to the bridge.

The council will be asked to approve an application for a Transportation Alternative Program Grant. The grant would provide funds for engineering and construction work needed for the repairs. The cost is estimated to be $925,000.

Under the terms of the grant, the federal government provides the funding, but the program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The federal government would pay 80 percent of the costs and the city would pay 20 percent. That breaks down to $740,000 for the federal government’s part and $185,000 for the city’s share.

The second bridge project is a replacement of the bridge over Gap Creek on Southside Road.

The bridge was built in 1939 and following recent inspections, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has decided to replace it under the IMPROVE Act of 2017 and the High Priority Bridge Replacement Program. Under the terms of the program, TDOT will pay for 100 percent of the costs of the project.

Danny Hilbert, manager of Elizabethton’s Street and Sanitation Department said he and Mike Potter approached TDOT with a request to consider replacing the bridge, based on the reports of recent inspections. After TDOT reviewed the data, the bridge was placed on the list of bridges to be replaced.


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