CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Tennessee Department of Transportation knows more today about what it needs to do to the Moore Road bridge over I-24. That bridge was damaged when a truck carrying an oversized load, hit it on January 7th.
The bridge strike on January 7th, created a major traffic jam while TDOT engineers took a close look at the damage.
Engineers temporarily closed I-24 to assess the damage and shore up the overpass.
A second phase picked back up overnight Monday into Tuesday.
Engineers took a closer look at internal damage to the support beam in the Moore Road overpass.
Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Spokesperson, said, “Part of a lateral tie bar came out, and that’s what we wanted to look for, to see – how much of it was left, how far back did it go, and formulate a plan for the future to possibly replace it or do something just to stabilize the bridge, to reinforce it a little bit.”
TDOT Spokesperson Jennifer Flynn says this entire Moore Road bridge is going to have to be replaced in 3 to 4 years, as a part of the I-75/I-24 ongoing project. Meanwhile, the bridge is safe to drive on, or under, but this missing section of sidewalk will not be replaced.
So, just what did the engineers determine from a closer look at the bridge?
“They went out last night to see how far that bar had gone into the bridge, and fortunately it didn’t – it wasn’t nearly as far at they thought so we’re in better shape than we – than we originally anticipated, and what they’ll do is take this information and get with our structures engineers and come up with a repair plan to just stabilize the bridge and keep it in good shape,” said Miss Flynn.
The Moore Road bridge isn’t the only overpass playing an integral role in the expansive TDOT I-75/I-24 interchange project though.
“We want to make sure that it’s fully functional, because we will also have to use it as a detour for some of the other projects that we’ve got coming up like the replacement of the Belvoir Road bridge. We’re going to totally replace that bridge and it’ll be closed during construction, so people will have to use other alternates to get across from one side to the other over the interstate,” said Flynn.