Sevier Co residents say only bridge into the neighborhood is det

Sevier Co residents say only bridge into the neighborhood is deteriorating

Posted:
The bridge on Licklog Hollow Road is the only connection to the main road and during the last state inspection the bridge was rated in poor condition and found to be structurally deficient. The bridge on Licklog Hollow Road is the only connection to the main road and during the last state inspection the bridge was rated in poor condition and found to be structurally deficient.
"We were told they were going to fix the bridge, there were surveyors out here but nothing's happened and it's just gotten steadily worse," said Noel Pedro, a 10 year resident of the Licklog Hollow neighborhood. "We were told they were going to fix the bridge, there were surveyors out here but nothing's happened and it's just gotten steadily worse," said Noel Pedro, a 10 year resident of the Licklog Hollow neighborhood.
In addition to the crumbling road, the bridge is only one lane and with overgrown trees and bushes its nearly impossible to see oncoming traffic. In addition to the crumbling road, the bridge is only one lane and with overgrown trees and bushes its nearly impossible to see oncoming traffic.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

JONES COVE (WATE) –  The one and only bridge into a Sevier County neighborhood is falling apart and residents say they've been complaining for years.

The bridge on Licklog Hollow Road is the only connection to the main road and during the last state inspection the bridge was rated in poor condition and found to be structurally deficient.

It is a problem the county and state are working to fix but residents say it's been two years since the bridge was discovered to have advanced deterioration and they feel their safety is at risk.

"We were told they were going to fix the bridge, there were surveyors out here but nothing's happened and it's just gotten steadily worse," said Noel Pedro, a 10 year resident of the Licklog Hollow neighborhood.

Just by looking at the one lane bridge you see it's leaning, one of the supports sinking deeper into the Little Pigeon River, but that's only part of the problem. 

"You can see where it's crumbling the concrete is started to disintegrate," Pedro points out.

For four years residents have complained about the deterioration.

"There's a fear, its already leaning and there's a lot of kids that live back here in this neighborhood and lot of people have trucks or trailers coming through," said resident Craig Bexley.

In addition to the crumbling road, the bridge is only one lane and with overgrown trees and bushes its nearly impossible to see oncoming traffic.

"You just never know if you're going to make it across if someone's coming towards you and you're going to hit head on," Pedro said.

The county is aware of the problems and is in the process of designing a new bridge.

"Anytime you have a steel structure, a steel beam structure with a steel deck on it they're not expected to last and this one has outlasted his time," said John Smelcer, the Sevier County roads superintendent.

He says the money is set aside and they're just waiting on plans to be approved on the state level. But at this point, it is safe to drive on.

"It is safe as far as TDOT is concerned because the average vehicle going across there is not going to have a problem what's so ever," Smelcer said.

But residents feel differently,  especially when it comes to emergency vehicles coming in and out.

"It's scary, something happens to one of our children back here or just anything we don't know if we can get out or if someone else can get in to help out," Bexley worries.

And now they feel all they can do is wait.

"Sooner or later it's bound to go, its gotten worse, gotten worse, gotten worse," Pedro said. "It's not going to get any better unless somebody fixes it."

 

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