UPDATE: Walnut Street Bridge 8-month makeover complete - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Walnut Street Bridge 8-month makeover complete

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Walnut Street Bridge makeover is complete! 

The $2.7 million dollar project, which started in November of 2016, was completed in a little over eight months. 

The 100 plus-year-old landmark was in need of much repair. Lynda Curtis runs the Ice Cream Show on the Southside of the bridge. She's seen many people fall in some areas with an uneven surface, including herself.

"If I’m with somebody and talking I have to make sure I am looking at the ground so I can see if there are uneven boards so I don't trip,” Curtis said.

It’s a common complaint among those that use the bridge connecting downtown with north shore.
Repairs were made to its foundation, supporting piers, steel structure and wooden decking.

The repairs included: 

  • Timber Laminated Decking Replaced and Treated: 56 Panels
  • Timber Sidewalk Planks and Curbs Treated: 34 Planks and 778 Linear Feet of Curb
  • Structural Steel Stringer Repairs: 5
  • Structural Steel Pack Rust Repairs: 84
  • Structural Steel Stiffener Repairs: 20
  • Structural Steel Section Loss Repairs: 13
  • Structural Steel Corrosion Removal and Repaint Repairs: 7
  • Structural Steel Weld Repairs: 4
  • Foundation Repairs: 56
  • Stone Masonry Joint Repairs: 13,275 Linear Feet
  • Bridge Deck and Sidewalk Power Washing and Sealing
  • Portal Repairs
  • Treated Timber Abutment Repairs
  • Post-Tensioning Strand Epoxy Coating

Construction wrapped up at the end of July, but some say more needs to be done.

"I really thought they were going to take out all the boards and replace all of them in the center section,” Curtis said.

The repairs were the first since 2013. Parts of the bridge remained opened during the repairs. 

Contractors said there are future plans to make more upgrades next year, however no dates have been set. For Curtis, it's upgrades that can't come soon enough.

"It just would be nice to have the whole center part of the bridge repaired so that you don't feel like you're going to trip,” she said.

The nearly three million dollars came from the city's capital planning budget. Right now, it's not clear if 2018 funds have been allotted to future upgrades.


PREVIOUS STORY: One of Chattanooga's iconic landmarks is getting some much needed attention. Work will start in the next few weeks on the Walnut Street Bridge and take about six months to complete.

This is the first repair to the bridge since 2013 -- there will be two phases of work done so it impacts the least amount of people as possible.

One of the Scenic City's most iconic bridges is getting a makeover. "Structural, starting with the masonry components underneath the bridge. Then focus on the steel structure above the deck," said James Bergdoll.

The $2.5 million repairs to the Walnut Street Bridge will begin in September and finish in March. "Over the last couple of years, Public Works has asked for money to do some work to the bridge, putting it into the capital fund."

The president with the construction company taking on the project says he is committed to making the disruption minimal. The city's goal is to keep portions of the bridge open at all times. Officials say walkers, runners and bikers will have constant access to the bridge.

"It may meander at times, zig zag to get around construction. Should always be a lane open," said Bergdoll.

Chattanoogans said one of the things that needs the most attention is the wood.

The wood work will be the second phase of repairs. It will be completed during the winter months.

"Several panels will be replaced and different sections. Four-foot sections width of the bridge," said Bergdoll.

The repairs may be a nuisance to visitors, but city officials are confident it will be well worth it. "We got this landmark that's been here for over 100 years and certainly an icon to the city, keep it up so we can have it for another 100 years."


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga's celebrated Walnut Street Bridge is getting a makeover.

A fresh coat of paint, replacement of portions of the wooden deck and corroded ironwork, one of the Scenic City's best-known and well-loved icons is getting some much-needed attention, according to a news release.

The work is expected to start in the next few weeks and will take approximately six months and is being performed by Bell and Associates Construction Company.

Bell President Keith Pyle said, “Our team is committed to making these repairs in a way that causes minimal disruption to those visiting the bridge.  We know the importance of having the bridge available during ‘Wine Over Water’, the ‘Head of the Hooch’ races and many other special events.”

A Facebook page has been created to keep fans up to date on the work's progress.

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