Standifer Gap Bridge closes Monday; will be closed for 18 months - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Standifer Gap Bridge closes Monday; will be closed for 18 months

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Chattanooga Department of Transportation (CDOT) announces the closing of the bridge over Friar’s Branch on Standifer Gap Road between Hickory Valley Road and Shallowford Road  beginning Monday, October 3, 2016, for approximately 18 months.  This will be a hard closure with no traffic allowed on the bridge.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation recently conducted a bi-annual bridge inspection and recommended that the bridge be closed to all traffic due to continued deterioration of the bridge beams.  CDOT is in the process of developing bridge replacement plans and identifying fund sources for new bridge construction.

Thousands of drivers depend on the Standifer Gap Road Bridge to get around town.  Beginning next week the bridge will be closed for 18 months. “Really inconvenience to everyone. It is a really busy street, very busy street,” said CheeChee Brown.

It has been on the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s radar for several years. A recent inspection showed the 30-year-old bridge was in critical condition. TDOT officials said it needs to torn down and replaced. “Sunk down, settled a lot. A lot more than their comfortable with,” said TDOT’s Jennifer Flynn.

Engineers with the City of Chattanooga are in the process of developing a bridge replacement plan for the $1.2 million project. “Similar size, an improvement as far as slightly longer and higher, so it is taken out of the flood zone area,” said Bert Kuyrkendall, a transportation engineer.

Drivers will need to take a different route during the construction. “Go down Hickory Valley and connect to Shallowford at the intersection. Not a huge change distant wise.”

Families living on the road say it is an inconvenience. “Hurry up and get it done! Eighteen months is a long time,” said Brown.

But for TDOT there is no time limit for the price of safety.“A lot worse bridges this could have happened to. It could be really bad on a main artery, a multi-lane bridge that carries a lot more traffic. Things could be worse.”

The project is expected to be complete by the Spring of 2018.

Motorist can use Shallowford Road and Hickory Valley Road as detours during this closure.  For additional information regarding the closure, please contact 311.

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