TDOT Announces Wolf Creek Bridge Rehabilitation Project for 2011

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | 07:40 am
Wolf Creek Bridge on State Route 9 US 25/70
Wolf Creek Bridge on State Route 9 US 25/70
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is working to prepare residents and motorists that travel along U.S. 25/70 (State Route 9) in Cocke County for an upcoming major bridge repair project that will require a total closure of the roadway for as much as 30 months. TDOT Region One Director Steve Borden announced the project at an informal community meeting on Monday, October 18 at Newport City Hall. The Wolf Creek Bridge, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, is structurally deficient and will require a major rehabilitation in order to reconstruct the bridge according to historic guidelines.
“We’re still several months away from beginning this project, but we know this project is going to have a major impact on the community,” said Borden. “We are here tonight to make sure everyone understands why the project is needed. When it is completed, this community will have a safer bridge in place that maintains the structure’s historic integrity and beauty.”
The Wolf Creek Bridge on U.S. 25/70 (SR-9) was originally built in 1928. During the rehabilitation, crews will carefully dismantle the bridge down to the arches and will reconstruct it under the guidelines of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in order to maintain its historic integrity. Plans also include widening the bridge from 24.8 feet to 30.8 feet which allows the lanes to be widened from 10.6 feet to 12 feet with 2 foot shoulders. This project could close the bridge for 30 months.
“This bridge is an iconic structure for Newport and the region, but after 82 years it is imperative to rehabilitate the bridge to ensure it will remain a safe route for travelers,” Borden added. “We will also take this opportunity to improve and widen the bridge without changing the overall appearance.”
The official detour is either State Route 35/US 321 (W. Main Street) to Greeneville then to State Route 70 (Asheville Highway) to North Carolina (58 miles) or State Route 107 (Houston Valley Road) to State Route 70 (Asheville Highway) (36 miles). 
TDOT anticipates the contract will be awarded during the first quarter of 2011 with construction expected to begin during the spring of 2011. An exact closure date has not been determined.
A website will be created to keep motorists and residents informed of the project developments.