Information from WYSH Radio
Note: This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 3.
Work on the long-awaited project to repair the CSX Railroad-owned bridge on Johnson Gap Road in the Dutch Valley community has finally begun.
Anderson County Commission Chairman Robert McKamey told WYSH Radio in Clinton that the railroad has assured him the work should be done within the next three to four weeks.
Crews on Monday began the long-awaited repair of the bridge.
In July 2013, state inspectors ordered the bridge closed immediately after determining it was unsafe for travel due to structural problems. Residents of Dutch Valley routinely use Johnson Gap, and consequently the bridge, as the primary shortcut to and from Clinton and Oak Ridge, and they complained about having to take longer alternate routes.
While some officials had worried about longer emergency response times, those problems did not surface, but residents still grew increasingly frustrated over the railroad’s delays in getting the project started.
The bridge is owned by CSX, and after its closure, the company offered the county two options. The first was to take over the bridge from the company and replace it with a concrete structure at county expense and the second was to have the company fix it and foot the bill. County commissioners last spring voted for the latter offer, but officials and residents became frustrated all over again when the company offered tentative starting dates and then would extend its timetable.
CSX has addressed the labor and other problems that led to their many delays and, late last year, awarded a contract to repair the 100-year-old bridge. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be wrapped up within the next four weeks.
The railroad bridge is pictured in the map below just north of where Johnson Gap Road intersects with Sulphur Springs Road between Dutch Valley and Clinton.
See previous story here.
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