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Bridge near G’town rated among five worst in state

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Shelby County has five of the state’s most heavily traveled bridges rated as “structurally deficient,” including U.S. 72 over I-240 just outside of Germantown.

Nearly 463,000 vehicles cross them daily. With the exception of one bridge, they all date from the 1960s (the other is from 1936).

The data comes from the latest American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) report, based on data in the 2016 National Bridge Inventory that was released by the Federal Highway Administration in January 2017.

A rating of structural deficiency means that these bridges, among others in Tennessee, need repairs. The ARTBA report estimates the total repair costs for just these five bridges at $24,135,000.

Some of these locations, however, may have seen repairs or the condition may have changed since the data was gathered. Dr. Alison Premo Black of ARTBA in Washington, D.C., said the Tennessee Department of Transportation should be able to provide more updated information. She is ARTBA’s senior vice president, chief economist and deputy director for the Contractors Division.

A TDOT representative was not immediately available at press time for comment.

It should be noted that these are just the most heavily traveled bridges that are structurally deficient in Shelby County. The full report shows a total of 49 Shelby County bridges that all have that rating.

In Shelby County, the five most heavily traveled bridges that are structurally deficient are at these locations:

• Sam Cooper Boulevard over Waring Road. Built in 1968, this bridge has been rated as structurally deficient since April 2013, and it was rated as functionally obsolete in October 2007, June 2009 and May 2011. This location is described in bridge reports as “FAU 4032 over Waring Road” (with FAU meaning that it is a federal aid road in an urban environment).

Recommended work: Bridge rehabilitation because of general structure deterioration or inadequate strength. Estimated cost of work: $1,825,000.

• U.S. 72 over I-240. Built in 1960, it has been rated structurally deficient since August 2007; however, its rating has fluctuated between functionally obsolete and structurally deficient since December 1991. This location is described in bridge reports as “FAU 57 EB over SR-57EB/I-240.” (FAU 57 Eastbound is a state route that follows U.S. 72 at this location.)

Recommended work: Widening of existing bridge with deck rehabilitation or replacement. Estimated cost of work: $620,000.

• I-240 Eastbound over the BNSF Railroad line. It was built in 1963 and reconstructed in 1983. It has been rated structurally deficient since March 2011. This location is described in bridge reports as “I-240EB over I-240 EB / BNSF Railroad.”
Recommended work: Replacement of bridge or other structure because of substandard load carrying capacity or substantial bridge roadway geometry. Estimated cost of work: $4,501,000.

• I-240 Westbound over Airways Boulevard. It was built in 1961 and reconstructed in 1984. It has been rated as structurally deficient since February 2015. It was rated as functionally obsolete in November 1991, August 1993, September 1995 and in every inspection since September 2001. This location is described in bridge reports as “I-240 WB over I-240 WB / Airways Blvd.”

Recommended work: Bridge rehabilitation because of general structure deterioration or inadequate strength. Estimated cost of work: $3,268,000.

• Bridge over Nonconnah Creek, south of the intersection of I-240 and Airways Boulevard. It was built in 1936 and reconstructed in 1974. It was rated as structurally deficient in December 1991, October 1993 and November 1995, as well as in every inspection since July 2007. This location is described in bridge reports as “FAU 2810 over Nonconnah Creek.”

Recommended work: Replacement of bridge or other structure because of substandard load carrying capacity or substantial bridge roadway geometry. Estimated cost of work: $13,921,000.

See more information online at bit.ly/ShelbyBridges.