TDOT suspends work by contractor after bridge worker's death

TDOT suspends work by contractor after Henley Bridge worker's death

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The contracting company involved in reconstructing the Henley Bridge in Knoxville has been suspended from further work on projects statewide until a safety review is completed.

Tennessee Department of Transportation officials made the announcement Wednesday, a day after a construction worker was killed at the site of the bridge project.

Safety measures used by Britton Bridge LLC and its related companies will be put to an independent review, the officials said.

Britton Bridge had already voluntarily suspended its projects.

TDOT officials say the statewide suspension is expected to last about a week, so it won't delay the final completion date for the Henley Bridge.

"We want to conduct a thorough assessment of all safety measures in place on these projects to ensure the welfare of the other employees," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a statement.

The move will also temporarily disqualify Britton Bridge from bidding on construction projects until the company's safety procedures are reviewed.

Solin Estrada Jimenez, 50, of Chattanooga, was killed Tuesday when he was hit by concrete that fell from a bridge support beam.

Officials said he was wearing a safety helmet at the time he was hit.

Another construction worker with Britton, John Womac, 33, of Athens, was killed four months earlier while working on the same project.

Since 2002, Britton Bridge has been cited seven times for various equipment violations. It was fined more than $16,000 for Womac's death due to a lack of training by another worker.

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