Drivers on East Tennessee interstates are sharing their feelings about the state of our roads in light of a terrifying situation Monday on Interstate 75.
The video from Chattanooga is quite scary. An enormous piece of concrete barricade fell from an overpass onto the ramp below. One car hit the barricade, causing injury to the driver.
This bridge, just inside the state line at the Interstate 24/75 split, was inspected in July of last year.
“It’s scary. I mean somebody could have gotten killed. There could have been somebody crushed by that. It’s worrisome because if it’s happened there, think of all the other bridges that out here that stand to have some damage to them that might not be known until something like that happens,” said Knoxville driver Brandon Boring.
“It’s a scary thought. Something I don’t know how often they check their bridges, stuff like that,” said Brian Skidmore.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says they have crews inspecting bridges every day across the state. They say bridges are typically inspected every two years, but those deemed structurally deficient are inspected every year.
Those are the bridges with a component in need of repair or monitoring, be it the deck, substructure or culvert. It doesn’t mean the bridge is unsafe for travel.
Still, drivers like Skidmore are on edge.
“You never know when it’s going to happen here. Hopefully it doesn’t ever happen but you never know when a bridge is going to fall or fall on you,” he said.
TDOT’s website lists four state-owned bridges in Knox County as structurally deficient. Two of them are on Baxter Avenue at I-275. Another is at Heiskell Avenue at I-275, and the fourth is Asheville Highway at Andrew Johnson Highway.