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I-24 construction paused after bridge beams fail TDOT’s routine inspection

From Local 3 News: Construction for the Interstate-24 bridges is on pause because of problems with some of the beams, according to the Tennessee D

From Local 3 News: Construction for the Interstate-24 bridges is on pause because of problems with some of the beams, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).


Construction is in the second phase of the project to improve traffic conditions near the I-24/I-75 split.


In the following statement sent to Local 3 News, TDOT spokesperson Rae Anne Bradley said the discovery was found during routine inspection:

“We’ve been made aware that two concrete beams on the S Moore Road bridge and three concrete beams on the McBrien Road bridge over I-24 did not meet the requirements as stated in our contract. Every contract TDOT enters into contains a thorough outline of standard specifications that clearly define our expectations for the project. In addition, TDOT has a rigorous quality control process. Every aspect of all projects undergoes constant testing and inspection by both our own internal experts and/or consultants. This discovery is a direct result of those safeguards working exactly as they should. TDOT intends to fully enforce the terms of the contract. The contractor is responsible for the replacement of the deficient beams and all related additional work will be done at no additional cost to TDOT. We’re working to understand how this discovery will affect the timeline for reopening the two bridges and will pass along more information as it becomes available.”


For years the interchange of I-75 and I-24 has been the center of congestion.


“It was just a bottleneck. It was a pinch point and it slowed, you know traffic would always get congested at that area,” said Jennifer Flynn, a former spokesperson for TDOT during an interview in April 2021.


In June of 2019, TDOT began construction phase one of their project costing $132.6 million. It involved crews shifting the interchange to the west, widening the road with an extra lane and adding 11 new bridges, including interstate to interstate ramps.


“The main idea is just to lessen the congestion and make it easier for people to get through there. it handles so much traffic, there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles, you know it’s over 100 thousand vehicles a day that accesses that interchange so this project will be very welcomed,” said Flynn in the April 2021 interview.


The department said because of funding constraints they chose to split the improvements into two phases. Phase one was completed in the Summer of 2021 with phase two beginning in Spring of 2023.


“It will include improving and widening the I-24 corridor from Spring Creek road bridge to west of Belvoir Avenue and some additional work along I-75 to near the East Brainerd Road interchange,” said Flynn in a May 2021 interview.


TDOT said the project is set to be completed in 2025.


Wright Brother’s Construction Company issued the following statement:

“Wright Brothers has been aware of the fact that five pre-cast beams used in the construction on the South Moore Road and McBrien Road Bridges (two on S. Moore Road Bridge, three on McBrien Road Bridge) did not meet our engineering standards and expectations. After this discovery, made in January, we promptly contacted the Tennessee Department of Transportation to report these findings. Since that date, we have been working diligently with the Department to come to a solution that will have minimal impact on budget and the traveling public. We want to assure all stakeholders that Wright Brothers is dedicated to delivering a safe product with maximum longevity. After much discussion with the Department, we have come to a consensus on a plan that will meet these expectations. This plan will replace the five beams and proceed with the concrete deck placement. There will be no alterations to the overall timeline on the project.”