Bell & Associates Construction, L.P. completed a $22 million dollar bridge rehabilitation project on the I-40 bridge over the French Broad River near Dandridge, TN for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. This bridge project was the first major rehabilitation on the 2,411 long 75’ wide structure originally built in 1960. Over 9,000 rivets were replaced at 44 locations. Those rivet replacements involved truss joint reconstruction and replacement of gusset plates and stiffener plates. Other significant structural steel work was the replacement of 18 rocker bearings and upgrades on five pier bearings. Over 750,000 pounds of new structural steel was required for the repairs.
In addition to the structural steel upgrades, the structure received a new lightweight concrete bridge deck, new parapets, and a new median barrier. Removal of the existing concrete deck was particularly challenging due to the weight restrictions for construction loads. These restrictions were necessary as the structure is fractural critical and had fatigue in several key structural components. Engineered plans were prepared and strictly followed to ensure no structural members were overloaded. The project was started in January of 2013 and completed earlier than the required December 31, 2015 completion date.