CARTHAGE – Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer joined state and local officials Wednesday to re-open the Cordell Hull Bridge over the Cumberland River in Smith County.
Last Wednesday’s ribbon cutting marked the end of a repair project, which began in August 2011, when Mid-State Construction was awarded the contract to rehabilitate the truss-style bridge.
The bridge was closed to traffic since December 2007, after a routine inspection by TDOT bridge inspectors found significant deterioration in the bridge’s steel truss, spans and connections.
The $9.5 million rehabilitation project included removal and replacement of the concrete bridge deck in all truss spans, replacement of the bridge rails for the full length of the bridge, and various structural steel repairs and bearing replacements. Concrete repairs were also made to the bridge piers.
Much of the original structure was preserved through blast cleaning and repainting, including the overhead truss, lattice work and countless rivets.
The Cordell Hull Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1936, was named for former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who once lived in Carthage.
Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, represent Smith County in the Tennessee General Assembly and were on hand for the ribbon cutting. Local leaders, including Smith County Mayor Michael Nesbitt, Carthage Mayor Sabra Hodge and South Carthage Mayor Jimmy Wheeler were also in attendance.