Bell Builds Connections: Wolf Creek Bridge

Bell & Associates is currently serving as the prime contractor for the rehabilitation of the Wolf Creek Bridge in Cocke County, TN. The original bridge was constructed in 1926 and was added to the National Historic Register in 1985. Because of its history, Bell is required to build the bridge back to its original form.

Located along State Route 9, the original bridge was completed in February of 1928 at a cost of $119,102, but has undergone several repairs since that time. Because of its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has determined that the bridge should be repaired rather than replaced.

As project manager, Bell & Associates partner Jeremy Mitchell has worked to deal with some of the challenges presented with leading such a specific project. In order for it to maintain it’s eligibility on the National Register, Bell & Associates has been working to dismantle the bridge down to the concrete arches while working to rehabilitate and expand the new deck. This project provided several challenges since there are no as-builts of the existing piers, arches, spandrel bents or abutments.

Wilson & Associates was hired to help achieve the highest level of as-built accuracy for the 80-year-old structure with their ground-based LiDAR or “laser scanning” procedure. The laser scanner provided more than 21 million points of data giving Wilson & Associates that ultimately helped ensure that the bridge would match the existing foundations. You can learn more about Wilson & Associates and LiDAR here.

The rehabilitation project will involve complete removal of the bridge deck and the spandrel columns. The existing piers will remain in place. The spandrel arches will undergo repair work as needed but will retain their existing appearance. When it’s completed, the new bridge will span 629 ft. 6 in. will be widened to a width of 30 ft. 8 in. to accommodate wider travel lanes and two-foot shoulders.

Located in Cocke County, the bridge will add to Bell’s legacy of building connections by linking Del Rio, Tennessee & Hot Springs, North Carolina over the French Broad River. The $8.7 million is scheduled to be completed by April of 2014. 

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