Vehicles damaged on Silliman Evans Bridge - WSMV News 4

Vehicles damaged on Silliman Evans Bridge

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A piece of metal sticking up in the middle of the Interstate was more than a speed bump on Monday morning as a few cars may have been damaged.

The Interstate was closed for about 90 minutes at the Interstate 24 and 40 split over the Silliman Evans Bridge southeast of downtown.

"It was sticking up and causing cars to be damaged," said Deanna Lambert, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

A piece of steel, which covered a bridge joint, popped out of place on the bridge, tying up I-40 traffic for the better part of two hours.

TDOT blames old age and changing weather for the problem.

It combined to cause the steel to loosen and then lift.

"About 140,000 vehicles travel over this section of the Silliman Evans bridge every day, so it's basically a situation of fatigue," said Lambert.

Crews sawed off the piece of steel and had traffic moving in about 90 minutes.

A more permanent repair could happen next year.

"It is perfectly fine to drive on it like this, without the steel piece on it," said Lambert. "It just protects the bridge joints."

Bridges remain a sore spot for the state.

Across downtown at the I-40 bridge over Charlotte Avenue, expect lane closures this weekend.

This summer concrete fell from the bridge, thanks to potholes. This weekend crews will pour a new bridge deck in a costly fix on a tight schedule.

"We are doing this in a total weekend closure because that is another heavily traveled area in the heart of downtown," said Lambert. "We are doing this over the course of a weekend as opposed to stretching this out, closing one lane for months on end."

The repair project will cost just shy of $400,000.

Drivers who had damage this morning can file a claim with the state. However, the driver will have to prove the state was negligent.

The I-40 West bridge over Charlotte will close Friday at 8 p.m. and should reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

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