Thrasher Bridge Closure Hampers Weekend Commutes

Reported by: Webb Wright
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Updated: 6/20 12:30 am
      It's a sight that is hard to believe, an empty Thrasher Bridge on Highway 153. TVA will be making repairs throughout the weekend.
      "These expansion joints have reached the end of their useful life. We've discovered that doing this type of work over this particular weekend would give us the maximum safety for the minimum inconveniencing," said TVA spokesman Jim Hopson.
     The bridge shut down at 8pm tonight, and won't reopen until 6am Monday morning. TVA officials are confident that the bridge will be reopened in time for that Monday morning commute.
     "Crews will actually be working 24 hours a day during this period in order to get this work completed before we get to a Monday rush hour. That period of time will give us the opportunity to not only do the repair, but do it the right way."
     Still, for some drivers, the inconvenience remains.
     "I go to church, go shopping, to go out to eat,  but for the entire weekend I'll detour," said Cynthia Williams.
    "I go back and forth to visit my eighty seven-year-old mother, I don't know if I can find my way back to Knoxville," added Sherrie Ginsburg.
    TVA officials say they decided a little inconvenience now is better than other alternatives, like sizing down to one lane.
    "It would be exposing the public to a much greater degree of danger to try to compress this much traffic and only two lanes over a bridge. Doing this concentrated effort over a four-day will let us do these necessary repairs and minimize the inconvenience. The Robinson bridge was just downstream from the Thrasher bridge. The actual total detour is only about 1 1/2 miles and should take the average motorist less than four minutes from their normal trip over 153," said Hopson.
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debbie - 6/23/2014 11:55 AM
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