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Knox Co. to close 60-year-old Yarnell Bridge

Repairs on the 60-year-old bridge will begin this Friday after TDOT said its inspection went from "fair" to "critical."
Credit: Knox Co. EPW

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department will close Yarnell Road Bridge beginning on Friday, July 10. 

The 60-year-old bridge spans 27-feet over Hickory Road in the Northwest part of the county. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said Yarnell Road downgraded recently in its inspection from "fair" to "critical" with the supporting beam beginning to lose its structural integrity. 

“The type of beam used in this bridge is common for bridges built at this time and this one deteriorated very quickly,” said Engineering and Public Works Director Jim Snowden. “It isn’t used anymore because it is very problematic for failure.” 

Knox County EPW said set aside $500,000 in its current FY21 budget, the project will cost about $250,000. 

There will be a detour that routes drivers from Buttermilk Road to Marietta Church Road. 

“We don’t anticipate a lot of inconvenience by this closure and detour as the traffic volume on the road over the bridge is only about 2,000 cars per day,” Snowden said. 

Repairs will begin by removing the bridge deck and structural beams before new ones can be installed. 

“The Engineering team working on this bridge is incredibly knowledgeable and capable,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “I know they will work as efficiently as they can to ensure that this bridge is safe for traffic as quickly as possible.”