TDOT says the selection was based on qualifications, experience, and availability of personnel and equipment. The contractor is expected to start work as early as Wednesday this week.
Last week, TDOT and the Arkansas Department of Transportation said a routine bridge inspection uncovered a crack in the bottom side of the bridge truss, which required the shutdown of the bridge for further investigation. The bridge remains closed to all interstate traffic until further notice. TDOT says the fracture, or crack, is in a steel support beam that is critical to the structure of the bridge.
The repair will be performed in two phases. Both phases will need to be completed before traffic can reopen on the bridge. At this point, TDOT says the agency is unable to project a reopening date.
Phase 1 will require the installation of steel plates on each side of the fractured member. This repair will strengthen the damaged steel plates providing stability needed for crews to install equipment for the permanent replacement of the damaged components and continue bridge inspections. The design of the plates has been completed, and plans were provided to Stupp Bridge Company in Bowling Green, Kentucky for fabrication. Fabrication of the roughly 18,000 lb of steel is expected to be complete by Wednesday, May 19. TDOT forces will be picking up the fabricated plates from Stupp Bridge Company and transport them to Memphis, where they will be ready for the contractor.
Phase 2 design is underway and will be finalized with the input of the contractor. This will enable the department to remove and replace the damaged piece and open the bridge to traffic.
TDOT also now has a webpage dedicated to the bridge repair.
SOURCE: Tennessee DOT