Bridge replacement will reduce flooding

Monday, March 21, 2011
County Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams points to the need for replacement of a concrete box bridge at the intersection of Cheek and Yell roads.

Replacement of the Yell Road bridge over the Troy Fork of Richland Creek could start within a month, thereby closing Yell road and re-routing traffic for an undetermined period of time, according to the Marshall County Roads Department.

Greg Curl of Curl Construction and Excavating at Wartrace was the apparent best bidder, at $96,306.13, for the bridge demolition and replacement contract let on Monday at Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams office where consulting engineer Jim Bingham examined the bid documents.

Curl will demolish and remove the old bridge, he said. David Robinson, a Lewisburg concrete subcontractor, will build the new bridge.

"We'll demolish the bridge and lay pipe so the creek can continue to flow," Curl said at Williams' office shortly after the bid opening.

Also bidding on the bridge contract were: Jenkins & Jenkins of Centerville, $105,940.23; and R.L. Kent of Curbers Inc. at Fayetteville, $96,859.68.

Kent was asked about the "work environment" because of the economy, but the contractor focused on environmental organization.

"It's terrible," Kent said. "TDEC (the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) is breaking the highway department. Building the structure is not the problem. It's the dealing with the environmentalists. It's gotten to the point around these streams that it's difficult to do the jobs."

Kent is building a new bridge on New Lake Road, he said. It's to be finished in about a month.

Erosion control is a chief concern during construction projects, officials said. To control that, siltation fences are installed to trap particles that muddy creeks and streams, thereby suffocating aquatic life.

Check dams with riprap rock are to be built around an inlet to a stream where these bridges are built, Curl said.

The Yell Road bridge will have a "wider hole" to accommodate a greater flow of water under the country road.

"We have a lot of trouble with flooding during flash floods," Williams said of what's downhill from Yell Road toward Cheek Road. "It'll get over that bridge, two-three foot at a time.

"And it's in a curve," he said, later explaining the bridge contract calls for use of recently acquired right of way to straighten out the road and lead to a wider bridge.

"It won't solve all of the flooding, but smaller rains won't affect it as much," the road superintendent said.

"A lot of water comes to that one spot," he said.

"Construction may start in two weeks to a month," Williams said. "Jim Bingham will take care of it with TDOT."

Bingham said the Tennessee Department of Transportation will make a determination on the project and release the contract with a work order.