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Concrete being poured on new US 25W bridge

Workers hve begun pouring the 3,400 cubic yards of concrete needed to create the nine-inch-deep deck of the new bridge to South Clinton that will replace the Green Bridge next year. The steel structure spanning the width of the brdige in the foreground will be used to smooth the freshly poured concrete. - Tony Cox

Workers began pouring the concrete deck for the Lewallen Bridge replacement on Tuesday. The work is aided by a moving steel structure in place across the bridge to smooth and grade the new surface. That’s the latest word from Lynn Murphy, bridge project coordinator for the city of Clinton, who said large concrete pumps were put in place to move the wet concrete onto the bridge deck. The bridge will require 3,400 cubic yards of the concrete mix for the deck, which we be nine inches thick, Murphy said. The average concrete truck carries just 10 cubic yards of the mix, he added. Prior to the pouring of the concrete, the construction crews installed 1.5 million pounds of epoxy-coated steel rebar that will hold the concrete in place and reinforce it so it can handle the heavy traffic the new bridge will carry between downtown Clinton and South Clinton on U.S. 25W. November is the 27th month of the three-year bridge construction project. The new bridge, expected to open late next summer, replaces Clinton’s iconic “Green Bridge,” officially named the Lewallen Bridge, which will be torn down and removed after the new span is opened to traffic.

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Going ‘all-out’ for Christmas

Dana Henry shows off some of the gnomes and other Christmas decor items at the Farmhouse Decor Market in Clinton, where she works with her parents, who own the store. - G. Chambers Williams III

Looking for the most-festive spot in Clinton to help get you into the Christmas spirit? That’s probably going to be the Farmhouse Décor Market at 732 S. Charles G. Seivers Blvd., where the Henry family operates a year-round Christmas shop inside their homemade-furniture store. But at this time of the year, there’s a whole lot more to it than just the usual small two rooms of the building that feature Christmas décor all year long. Now through the holidays, the entire store is chock full of the biggest variety of Christmas items most people will ever see in one place, including at least 18 fabulously decorated trees. Owners Rob and Kim Henry are now in their third season of selling the Christmas décor, and recently kicked off the 2020 holiday season with their annual Christmas open house. Along with their daughter Dana, the Henrys have almost any kind of Christmas decoration imaginable for sale in their huge shop. For the holiday season, besides the two year-round rooms of Yule décor, they also have a 6,000-square-foot bonus room at the opposite end of the building that features the Christmas merchandise.

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A break from a long tradition

A break from tradition will come next year as Clinton High School decided not to schedule Anderson County for the annual “Battle of the Bridge” football game. This will be the first time the two schools have not played football since Anderson County High School’s founding in 1983. Brad Collette, athletic director for Clinton High School, said that school officials are just trying to do what they think is best for the school and the football program. “Myself, Mr. Jenkins, and Coach Keith all decided it was good for us to take a break and do something different,” Collette said. “We’re just looking to play some teams and change up our non-region schedule to build up our program. It’s just tough for a coach to build a program when he’s playing teams that are going undefeated every year. Halls, Meigs County, Powell, Oak Ridge, etc. For us to build our program, we need to find competitive games, so that’s what we’ve tried to do. “[Clinton and Anderson County] are in two different divisions. If they wanted to come up to 5A and play Powell and Oak Ridge and things, that’s fine, but it just doesn’t benefit us to play them right now.” The rivalry has been heated in years past, especially under Clinton’s former head coach, Randy McKamey. In 2015, a scuffle broke out on the field after the game that resulted in suspensions for faculty at both schools.

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Rocky Top council address shelters, signs

New ordinances to limit the size and style of commercial signs in the Downtown Business District and to restrict homeless shelters, addiction treatment centers and halfway houses to specific areas of the city were approved on final reading by the Rocky Top City Council last Thursday. The sign ordinance aims to make the downtown area more attractive, in line with the city’s “Downtown Vision,” which is intended eventually to lead to revitalization of Main Street, which now has many abandoned and derelict buildings. The new ordinance regulates the size and style of signs in the C-4 Downtown Business District. Similarly, the zoning ordinance – which actually amends the ordinance that was already in place setting up the city’s zoning rules and boundaries – further protects the Downtown Business District by banning homeless shelters, treatment centers and halfway houses in that area. Residential areas are also included in the banned areas for those types of operations. City Council members were told that the amendment was necessary because the previous zoning ordinance did not address those kinds of facilities.

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