Baxter city officials are requesting the state upgrade the Elmore Town Road bridge project to high-priority status.
City Engineer Tom Bennett said the city’s request would alleviate the city’s portion while having the state put more emphasis on the project.
“Right now [the project is] 98 percent funded by TDOT with a two percent local match under the state aid bridge program,” Bennett said. “We talked about making a request for that to get put into what’s called the High Priority Program, which would increase that to 100 percent by TDOT. We’re making the request based on need and we know that bridge needs to be replaced. Baxter’s made that very clear so they’re going to be asking TDOT for additional assistance.”
Bennett said the road has been a challenge for many residents over the years, adding the bridge project is much needed for the city.
“It’s really been sort of a problem for many years here in Baxter and there’s only one way into that road. It’s a single-access roadway,” Bennett said. “TDOT came in some years ago, inspected the bridge, and put it under what they call the state aid bridge program. They determined it had a need, so TDOT determined they would provide funding for it under that state aid program.”
Bennett said the total project cost is estimated between $400,000 and $600,000. The city could save between approximately $8,000 and $12,000 if the state approves their request.
City officials reported last month they hope to have the project started later this spring.