UPDATE: Walnut and Market Street Bridges in need of repairs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Walnut and Market Street Bridges in need of repairs

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Walnut Street Bridge needs a lot work to be safer for pedestrians.  

The findings show that the city has a lot of work ahead of them. The inspectors put their recommendations into four categories. The city claims it will now take some action.  

We've shown you the wood timbers tearing apart as people walk on the bridge. On Friday, Channel 3 inspected a recent report that shows broken wood timber is just the start.  

The bridge needs some minor electrical work immediately, costing about $2,000.

In addition, over the next year the city will hire a firm to do work above on the trusses and below on the north viaduct as well as cosmetic work.  

The tab could top $3,000,000 and Lee Norris with Public Works says they have most of that in the budget.

City council may be asked for some extra and Councilwoman Carol Berz says she will have to look more into.

"I just heard about this and I will have to carefully look at all the details, " said Carol Berz. 

Norris just learned about the report Friday.  

"There are some repairs that need to be done, as we have done repairs in the past, we will just do these repairs and move forward," said Lee Norris.

Folks who use this bridge daily say they see the need for the repairs.

"You know, it's a great bridge. I would hate to see it go away," said Susan Bartmess. 

A contractor will be out on the Walnut Street Bridge either Friday or Saturday doing electrical work. 

It is still safe to use the bridge, the city tells Channel 3, when major work begins the bridge will still be open for folks to walk across. 


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The Walnut Street and Market Street Bridges need some help and some people we talked with say they have safety concerns.  

With all the foot traffic and vehicles that go across the bridges daily, the wear and tear is noticeable.  

Whether it's walking, running or pedaling, the Walnut Street Bridge stays busy.

"Everybody walks on this bridge, I have been walking on this bridge for ten years," said Lee Howard. 

But now this bridge has Lee Howard watching every step he takes. Channel 3 discovered some of the wood timbers people walk on daily are tearing apart.

"It builds up right here and down there, all the way between the first two arches is where it builds up," said Howard.  

"There needs to be some repairs no doubt." said Lee Norris, Administrator. 

Chattanooga Public Works Administrator Lee Norris told me the city hired a firm to inspect the bridge. Those results will be back Friday. The city is expecting to fork out a lot of money for the repairs that include replacing wood, electrical work and other miscellaneous repairs to make sure it's safe for everyone. 

"A couple of hundred thousands of dollars minimum to do all of that" said Norris.

While the city is focusing on the Walnut Street Bridge, TDOT is working to fix any problems on the Market Street Bridge. Folks who cross this bridge say it needs some fixing up as well.

"They will go out there and look at them and tighten up any boards or put some new one's down," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Community Relations Officer.

The people I spoke with say they are glad to hear the city and TDOT aren't taking this issue lightly.

"Like the little things, because the little things can always lead to the big things," said Gavin Ross. 

The Walnut Street Bridge is inspected every other year, Market Bridge is tested quarterly. Tax dollars are paying for the Walnut Street repairs. 

Repairs are expected to occur next year. 
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