Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer joined state and local officials today to celebrate the official opening of the newly-completed bridge on U.S. Hwy. 41 over the Tennessee River at Nickajack Lake in Marion County on November 7.
The new concrete and steel structure has two 12-foot lanes and full 10-foot shoulders and replaces a nearby 1929 truss bridge. The contractor on the $21.5 million project is Britton Bridge, LLC of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
“We are pleased to be here today to celebrate the opening of this important structure with our local partners and the citizens of Marion County,” said Commissioner Schroer. “This bridge will not only serve the citizens of Marion County, it will be an asset to the entire region, as U.S. Hwy. 41 is an important route that is often used as an alternate for I-24.”
Work began on the bridge replacement project in March 2011. Unforeseen issues with rock beneath the river near the site of some of the new bridge piers added more than a year of additional work to the project and also forced the closure of the existing bridge, which was originally planned to remain open until the new bridge was complete. The old 1929 truss bridge was permanently closed to all traffic on January 9, 2012.
Joining Commissioner Schroer at the ribbon cutting was Ms. Madge Elizabeth Boggild. As a small child, Ms. Boggild rode with her father in the first vehicle ever to cross the adjacent 1929 truss bridge. In January 2012, Ms. Boggild was in the last vehicle across the truss bridge before it was closed to traffic. To celebrate the opening of the bridge, she came full circle and rode in the first vehicle to officially cross the Tennessee River on the brand new bridge.