The Tennessee Department of Transportation said work is nearly complete on a new bridge over the Clinch River in Clinton, saying it anticipates it will open in mid-October.
It's replacing a historic steel truss bridge commonly referred to as the "Green Bridge." It's official name, the Hon. William Everette Lewallen Bridge, has been an iconic structure in the community since its construction in the 1940s.
TDOT said the new $27.6 million bridge is a webbed steel girder bridge utilizing drilled shaft foundations.
The new bridge itself is finished, but work still needs to be done to reroute traffic along Clinch Avenue/SR 9 onto it. Crews are currently focusing on building roadway approaches and installing curbing and stones at the new tie-ins to the bridge.
Beginning the week of October 4, TDOT said guardrails will be installed and paving will begin. A traffic shift will happen in two phases for northbound and southbound traffic starting October 8. All traffic is expected to be on the new bridge by October 15, weather permitting.
Once the new bridge is open to all traffic, the old Green Bridge will be demolished. The city had looked at ways to keep the bridge standing. One idea was to transform it into a pedestrian bridge, but that idea was scrapped due to it costing roughly $2 million to renovate the structure along with an estimated $100,000 per year in upkeep.
The new bridge has been under construction since 2018, and was originally projected to open a few months earlier in August 2021.
TDOT said an average of nearly 22,000 vehicles per day drive over the Green Bridge.