TDOT opens State Route 33 bridge project for re-bidding

TDOT opens State Route 33 bridge project for re-bidding


6 News Reporter

MAYNARDVILLE (WATE)-  With TDOT looking to reopen the Henley Bridge next year, more than 8 months later than planned, there is another bridge project running behind schedule.  

The State Route 33 bridge in Union County has been plagued with delays, but there is some good news on the horizon.    

TDOT officials announced they plan to re-bid the project out on February 15th.  

"It's old and looks like it's about to fall anytime, having a new one looks like it'd be safer to me," said Cody Carter, a Sharps Creek resident.  

Work at the State Route 33 Bridge has been at a standstill since last spring.  A project that started in 2009 was halted with a third of it complete.   

Residents continue to use the original bridge built in 1936.  

"We've been deserving of a new bridge for several years. The money has been there, there's been problems with contracts and things of that nature, we hope this is all resolved," said Union County Mayor Mike Williams.  

The bridge project was supposed to be complete by June 2012.

In May, TDOT canceled the work because there were changes to the original bridge design due to conditions at the bottom of the water.  

TDOT determined the best plan of action would be to cancel the contract and open bidding for the remaining work.  

Union County Mayor Mike Williams, a former TDOT project manager has been frustrated by all the delays.  

"I think there's some problems they need to look at internally, so that this activity doesn't happen in the future for other communities that want to get a bridge replaced," Williams said.

TDOT officials say they will re-bid the project out next Friday.  

Getting to this point took months, since TDOT needed time to obtain permits from TVA.    

"Those permits have been obtained. Also, there were adjustments made to the environmental documents.  That's what caused the delay from last May from where we are now, accepting bids next week," said Mark Nagi, TDOT Spokesperson.  

The projected costs were estimated at $22.4 million, but costs could increase by as much as 20 percent.   The Route 33 bridge project is the second most expensive bridge project in the state after the Henley Bridge project.

Despite this, Mayor Williams is encouraged this time around.    

"I think this is a final round and I think we're going to see this through," he said.

Mountain States Contractors, LLC is an affiliate of Britton Bridge and was the original contractor on the 33 bridge project. 

Britton Bridge is the same project contractor of the Henley Street bridge project  

The State Route 33 bridge contract should be awarded to the new bidder by the middle of March.  

Construction on the bridge could start again by the summer, no word on the completion date.

Updates on other TDOT Projects:

  • SR-73 (US-321) at Fort Loudon Dam- Loudon County: Target completion date on schedule for May 2015.
  • Wolf Creek Bridge at State Route 9- Cocke County: Target completion date on schedule for March 2014.
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