TDOT Breaks Ground on First Better Bridges Project in Nashville

Thursday, November 12, 2009 | 08:53 am
Project Funded through Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Bond Program of 2009
NASHVILLE – TDOT today launched the largest bridge replacement and rehabilitation program of its kind in state history.  During a groundbreaking ceremony in Nashville on Thursday, Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely joined state and local officials to break ground on the state’s first project funded through the Better Bridges Program. Work is now underway to replace the aging Murfreesboro Road Bridge over Mill Creek. TDOT’s Better Bridges Program is a four year program approved in 2009 by the Tennessee General Assembly that will utilize bonds to pay for the repair, replacement or rehabilitation of more than 200 structurally deficient bridges in the state. TDOT announced 111 bridges included in the first year of the program on September 11, 2009. 
“This project is the first of more than a hundred bridge projects we will begin this year to improve the safety and reliability of our transportation system,” said Nicely. “The Better Bridges Program allows the state to address badly needed bridge improvements at a time when construction prices are at their lowest levels in years.”
The Murfreesboro Road Bridge over Mill Creek was originally built in 1942 and is listed as both structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The structurally deficient rating means parts of the bridge, such as the bridge deck (or riding surface) and bridge beams, are considered to be in poor condition. The bridge is rated as functionally obsolete because it is no longer wide enough to accommodate the amount of traffic traveling on the structure. Currently, an estimated 30,190 vehicles utilize the bridge each day.
Chief Engineer Paul Degges added, “The investments we are making today with the Better Bridges Program will serve the state for decades to come and will provide a lasting benefit to the many citizens who travel our roadways every day. Tennesseans deserve safe and efficient bridges and this program will bring much needed improvements to hundreds of communities across the state.”
Springfield, Tennessee based Brown Builders, Inc. submitted the lowest bid for the project and was awarded the $1.9 million contract. Crews with Brown Builders, Inc. will now begin putting traffic control measures in place for the first of three construction phases to replace the bridge beams and riding surface, reconstruct the abutments, and rework the bridge approaches. During each of the three phases, traffic will be shifted so that sections of the existing bridge can be demolished and rebuilt. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during construction.
For more information on TDOT’s Bridge Program visit For more information on TDOT construction activity visit the TDOT SmartWay web site at Travelers can also dial 511 for travel information or follow us on Twitter at for statewide travel information or for Nashville area traffic information. Motorists should always remember to use motorist information tools responsibly and refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. TDOT advises drivers to “Know before you go!” by checking traffic conditions before leaving for your destination.

For More Information Contact:
Julie Oaks or B.J. Doughty
TDOT Communications