By David Hedges, Publisher

Construction of a new bridge on U.S. 33/119 linking Roane and Calhoun counties is expected to get underway this year.

Corder Bridge had been scheduled for replacement in 2007, according to the six-year plan prepared by the W.Va. Division of Highways in 2005.

That project was delayed by a variety of complications, according to Cliff Essig, bridge engineer for DOH District 3, a seven-county area that includes Roane and Calhoun.

"We've had a lot of trouble at that site with historical stuff," Essig said this week.

An archeological survey located some potentially historic items, Essig said, which required a more extensive survey and the recovery of any items that could be of historical significance.

With that process now finished, Essig said construction is scheduled to begin in April of this year.

"It's not likely to go that soon, but we're still trying to get it going this year," he said. "There are still right-of-way issues and utilities to be moved. There are various things that have to be done."

According to the plan released in 2005, the project will cost an estimated $1.5 million.

Construction is expected to take two years to complete. Essig said approximately one-half mile of the road will be straightened in the process.

He said the new bridge, a steel I-beam with a concrete deck, would be located beside the existing bridge, which is a through-truss construction. The existing bridge will remain open during the construction process.

Two other new bridges are planned for downtown Spencer, although a date remains up in the air for one of those.

Essig said the North Market Street Bridge that leads into the Alvord area would be replaced this year. He said construction would start in two or three months and be complete this year.

He said the pre-cast concrete arch bridge, similar to the existing bridge, would be located in the same spot as the current one.

A temporary bridge will be erected over Spring Creek, starting in the Bowman Street parking lot.

The Col. Ruby Bradley Bridge on U.S. 33/119 near the entrance to Williams Drive had been scheduled for replacement in 2008. Essig said engineers are still studying that project to determine what is needed. The original cost estimate for that project was $5 million. He did not know when construction on that project would get underway.

Essig said the Looneyville arch bridge on County Route 52/7, known as Cal Hammack Ridge or Ferrell Run, would be replaced this year.

While those are the only bridge projects in Roane County set for 2009, Essig said the federal stimulus package might fund some smaller bridge replacement projects.

"These are just the ones I know are going to go," he said.


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