Highway Dept. hopes to fix more bridges with increased aid

Published 9:09 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Star Photo/Kayla Carter A bridge in Stoney Creek on Dry Branch Road may be replaced sooner than originally anticipated.

Star Photo/Kayla Carter
A bridge in Stoney Creek on Dry Branch Road may be replaced sooner than originally anticipated.

The Carter County Highway Department hopes to add two more bridges to its current plans to replace six county bridges.
Carter County Highway Department Superintendent Roger Colbaugh explained how there might be extra funds to support two more bridges through the state aid bridge program.
“I’d like to have all the paperwork in by the first of the year,” Colbaugh said. “We may have some money left over to do some other bridges. The state has to give us approval to do that. They aren’t going to give me permission to work on anything else until they see that these six bridges are going to go in.”
The amount of money the state plans to award the county has increased to $2,046,229.93. Carter County has been awarded the most money out of any county in the state.
“We have until June 16 of next year to have the paperwork through to Nashville in order to use this money with a 98/2 percent split,” he said.
Colbaugh explained that the highway department has to put up the money or have a company do the work with the understanding they would get paid once the state reimburses the county.
“I’m working with two companies on that right now,” he said.
The six bridges first on the list are located along Rittertown Road, Powder Branch Road, Jenkins Cemetery Road and Main Street in Roan Mountain and two box bridges on Wilbur Dam Road in Siam. There are a total of 12 bridges on the entire list.
“The Rittertown bridge has been going on for several years,” Colbaugh said. “The plans and specifications are in TDOT’s hands.”
The Main Street bridge is currently in the design and permit phase, he said.
“Hopefully that can be turned into the state before the first of the year,” he said. “If we get to build all these bridges, it’s only costing us 2 percent.”
In other business, Colbaugh mentioned some current and upcoming paving plans to utilize state aid money.
“Today we are trying to pave another road up in Roan Mountain,” he said. “We are trying to pave small roads and not spend a whole lot of money. We’re trying to get what we can done.”
Colbaugh has recently been in touch with the Tennessee Department of Transportation about a paving state aid project.
“We’ve got $395,344.38 in state aid money for asphalt,” Colbaugh said. “We are thinking about paving the Bristol Highway from the new bridge out to the tie in at 19E.”
This area sees a lot of traffic, Colbaugh said.
“The pavement is cracking and breaking all to pieces,” he said. “Also, the connector road from Bristol Highway to 19E is the Old Bristol Highway and we would like to include that, too.”
If there is any money left over from this project, Colbaugh wants to see Smalling Road paved as well.
“We may be able to pave a section of it with this money,” he said. “It’s just all in the planning stages.”

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