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Routine inspection of Cordell Hull Bridge underway

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

A routine inspection of the Cordell Hull Bridge by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is underway.

The bridge will be closed certain hours during the day while the inspection is taking place.

According to mobile billboards posted near the bridge, the structure will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., daily while inspection is taking place.

It’s unclear how long the temporary bridge closings will last.

Signs indicate the bridge will be closed from Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 17.

Transportation officials in Nashville have indicated the bridge will only be closed for about a week, but warned it could take longer depending on weather conditions.

“The inspection will begin Monday (June 6) and will last until Friday (June 10). There is a small chance it could last through the following week, but inspectors will do what they can to limit the work to one week,” according to a news release issued by TDOT’s communications office last week.

Also, if any significant structural problem is detected the bridge could be closed for weeks, even months.

If there are significant problems with the bridge it would be completely closed and not reopened until the deficiencies are repaired.

This was the case in June of 2020 when an inspection revealed structural deterioration on the South Carthage side of the bridge.

Well over three hundred thousand dollars in structural repair work was done while the bridge was closed to traffic.

Work included spot cleaning and painting some of the structural steel, cleaning out deck drains, as well as concrete and steel repair work. 

A major portion of the work included “spot painting”, according to a contract between the state transportation department the East Tennessee company which conducted the work.

In recent years, the bridge has been temporarily closed for various inspections.

The work in 2020 was the first time the bridge had been shut down since repopening in the summer of 2014, following 32 months of rehabilitation which cost approximately $9.5 million.

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