Local officials along with the state department of transportation celebrated the opening of the newly constructed bridge spanning the Cumberland River on Highway 109 Friday.
“This is a very exciting project for TDOT, one that has been years in the making,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “TDOT is pleased to be able to offer more travel lanes, as well as sidewalks and a beautiful structure to this community. This bridge will serve the growing needs of Wilson and Sumner Counties for decades to come.”
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto praised the accomplishment and acknowledged the importance of the bridge to both counties it serves.
“It is a great day for Wilson County and Sumner County because we partner together. It’s a big deal for our county and we thank you for the groundwork you are laying for the future,” said Hutto.
The SR 109 Bridge serves as a “Gateway Bridge” for motorists heading north to Gallatin and Sumner County and those heading south into Lebanon and Wilson County.
Work began on the bridge project in early 2011 to replace the early 1950s-style truss bridge, which was showing signs of aging and was listed as structurally deficient.
The new bridge is wider and consists of four 12-foot traffic lanes, a center median and 8-foot shoulders and sidewalks. The wider structure will make the heavily traveled road safer for both commercial and residential traffic, according to TDOT.
Rep. Susan Lynn said both she and Sen. Mae Beavers had asked TDOT officials to complete the corridor project because “we need to be able to travel safely along this road.”
“We just want to say thank you. [TDOT] is doing a fantastic job,” said Beavers.
The new bridge design also includes decorative columns and a 16-foot high monument with the Sumner County and Gallatin seal on the northern side and the Wilson County seal on the southern side of the structure.
The $29.5 million project also widened Highway 109 for about a mile and also included the replacement of a concrete box culvert located along the route north of the river with a two-span bridge.
The bridge will open to one lane of traffic in each direction on Saturday at 7:30 a.m.
Work will continue on the project over the next few months. Demolition of the old SR 109 Bridge will take several months and will not begin until all travel lanes on the new bridge are complete.
Approximately 16,500 vehicles travel the SR 109 Bridge each day. That number is expected to reach nearly 30,000 by 2035.