New bridge nearly spans Clinch River

Final beams to be placed soon, city says

  • Workers continue installing steel girders for the new bridge over the Clinch River in downtown Clinton. The bridge is expected to open to traffic next summer.

  • The new bridge over the Clinch River in downtown Clinton has girders in place nearly across the entire river in this photo taken Thursday, June 18. Work will begin soon to install the bridge deck.

The steel and concrete girder beams for the new bridge over the Clinch River in downtown Clinton now nearly span the entire river, except for the last nine in the section at the west end, which will be added soon, the city said Monday.

That last section is waiting on completion of abutment No. 1, which had been delayed because of heavy rains last fall that caused a huge washout in that area and undermined part of the existing Lewallen Bridge west side approach.

“After several months of delays, construction will proceed this week on the [west] abutment,” said Lynn Murphy, the city of Clinton’s project coordinator for the new bridge. “Precast concrete sections will be installed around the existing steel beam pilings to create the structure (as opposed to building forms, pouring concrete, and then removing forms).

“The use of the precast materials should result in a much faster process.”

Murphy also noted, “After the abutment is built, installing the final nine beams should take less than one week.”

Work is also about to begin on installing the deck of the new bridge, he said.

“This consists of laying down galvanized steel deck pans across the girder beams, then placing tons of rebar steel across the pans, then pouring concrete in sections,” Murphy said in his Monday update, released in month 22 of the 36-month project.

“This is a major portion of the project and will take several months to complete,” he added.

The bridge is scheduled to be completed next year, and then the one it replaces, the Lewallen Bridge (also known as the Green Bridge), will be demolished and removed.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation project began on Sept. 17, 2018, and is scheduled for completion by Aug. 31, 2021.