LEWALLEN BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT UPDATE
Lynn Murphy (Project Coordinator)
After month 6 of the 36 month project:
Construction continues on six underwater support columns drilled twenty-five feet deep within the bedrock (see photo).
Recall that Piers # 5 and # 4 are located in the river, requiring two columns each. Both underwater columns for Pier # 5 have been poured. One column for Pier # 4 has been poured, and the second is currently being drilled.
Piers # 3 and # 2 each require one underwater column. These will be located in the river inlet near the concrete walking trail.
The sanitary sewer line relocation project continues. Delays were recently encountered when a natural gas line was excavated that conflicted with the required sewer line route. Powell-Clinch Utility worked with the bridge contractor for over one week performing the necessary work.
Note: The TDOT Lewallen Bridge Replacement Project began on Monday September 17, 2018 and is scheduled for completion on August 31, 2021.
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9/24/18 - Week 1 of the 156 week project resulted in:
- Riverside Drive has been closed at South Charles G. Seivers Blvd. and at Meadowbrook Street.
- In order to better manage traffic affected by the road closure and detour, we have upgraded the traffic signal at S. Charles G. Seivers Blvd. at the Willow/Sunset intersection (at McDonald’s). It now has a protected left turn arrow in each direction, and pavement markings have been refreshed.
- The Lakefront Park Walking Trail has been closed on each end of the work zone. Along the river inlet, the metal fence and the trail lighting fixtures and poles are being removed and stored, to protect them from damage. They will be replaced when the trail re-opens.
- The TDOT contractor, Blalock Construction, began clearing and grubbing the right-of-way property on the south end of the Lewallen Bridge. The trees and brush that have been removed will be ground into mulch and spread as an erosion control blanket.
- Preliminary work for underground utility relocation is underway. A sanitary sewer line and a natural gas line are being moved to a new route, away from the work zone and beneath the existing bridge.
- Bridge and pier construction will begin on the south end of the project and proceed toward the north.
10/19/18 - After month 2 of the 36 month project:
- Traffic disrupted by the Lewallen Bridge project continues to adjust to the detours. The recent traffic signal improvements providing for left turns at Willow Street and Sunset Road appear to be very helpful to local residents.
- The TDOT contractor, Blalock Construction, continues to clear the right-of-way property on the south end of the Lewallen Bridge. Most of the trees and brush have been removed and ground into mulch, which is currently being spread across the disturbed areas as an erosion control blanket. Excavation for the first bridge pier footing is underway.
- Blalock crews are currently working at the boat launch ramp area, building two large floating work platforms. Single barge sections are hauled in by tractor-trailer truck, with the individual sections being unloaded by crane and placed into the river, where they are bolted together to form a barge. Barges will be used as a platform for workers, and to support a large crane.
11/20/18 - After month 3 of the 36 month project:
- TDOT contractor Blalock Construction continues work on the Lewallen Bridge replacement project.
- The new bridge will consist of an abutment on each end and six piers between them. Piers are numbered from north to south. Piers 4 and 5 are in the water.
- Pier 6 (the farthest south) is currently being built (see photos). One photo shows the foundation pilings (steel beams) being driven down 20-30 feet until they reach bedrock. The vertical beams shown are all contained in a single column, with the foundation for pier 6 consisting of 3 columns. A more recent photo shows the 3 rebar reinforced concrete columns sitting on top of the foundation pilings.
- Within the next few weeks, one north bound lane of Clinch Avenue will be closed, beginning at Carden Farm Drive. The slow lane will be shut down while the south abutment is prepared. The lane will re-open at mid-span of the Lewallen Bridge. Expect traffic congestion during peak hours.
12/10/18 - After month 4 of the 36 month project:
- TDOT contractor Blalock Construction continues building pier # 6 on the Lewallen Bridge replacement project.
- The attached photo shows three steel reinforced concrete columns and a foundation. Crews are building the cap that sits on top of the columns, which will support the deck. The wooden material shown in the photograph is a temporary walkway built across the structural steel.
- A sanitary sewer pipe relocation project will begin soon, beneath the existing bridge. CUB Water and Sewer will be inspecting the installation.
-The work zone speed limit on the north bound side of Clinch Avenue has been reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph, beginning at Lynncrest Street (near the Git ‘n Go Market). Speed limit signs and advance speed limit signs have been installed. The south bound speed limit continues to be 35 mph across the bridge, but it has been extended south to the Hiway Drive traffic signal.
- The north bound Clinch Avenue lane closure previously mentioned will not take place until after January 1, 2019.
1/22/19 - After month 5 of the 36 month project:
- Blasting on the south end of the project was completed on 01-10-19. No further blasting is anticipated.
- The concrete cap on Pier # 6 has been poured. Work on abutment # 2 (the farthest structure south) should begin within the next two months. This will require a north bound lane closure on Clinch Avenue.
- The sanitary sewer pipe relocation project is about 50% complete. Once it is finished, work will begin on a natural gas line relocation project.
- Piers #4 and #5 are under construction (a total of 6 piers and 2 abutments are required, numbered north to south). Piers #4 and #5 will rest on twin columns in the water. Drilling is currently in progress for these, and the first concrete pour for a column on Pier #5 is scheduled this week. It takes about one week to drill each column hole, build the rebar steel cage insert, and pour the concrete. There is minimal silt and mud on the river floor. A large diameter steel casing will sit on a shoulder 2.5 feet into the bedrock. A drill bit turns inside the steel casing to create a 9 feet wide by 25 feet deep hole into the solid bedrock, which will receive the steel rebar cage and poured concrete, to create the column.
- There has been a recent increase in curious onlookers attempting to enter the work zone on Riverside Drive, both walking and driving. The section of Riverside Drive and the adjoining sidewalks are closed to the public until the project is finished, and no entry from either direction is allowed beyond the barricades and Road Closed signs. The work zone is a very hazardous area and may not be visited by unauthorized individuals. Everyone’s cooperation in the keeping the work zone clear and safe is appreciated.
2/15/19 - After month 6 of the 36 month project:
- Construction continues on six underwater support columns drilled twenty-five feet deep within the bedrock.
- Recall that Piers # 5 and # 4 are located in the river, requiring two columns each. Both underwater columns for Pier # 5 have been poured. One column for Pier # 4 has been poured, and the second is currently being drilled.
- Piers # 3 and # 2 each require one underwater column. These will be located in the river inlet near the concrete walking trail.
- The sanitary sewer line relocation project continues. Delays were recently encountered when a natural gas line was excavated that conflicted with the required sewer line route. Powell-Clinch Utility worked with the bridge contractor for over one week performing the necessary work.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF PICTURES FROM THE BRIDGE PROJECT