Construction on a new bridge along the Robert Matthews Highway between Cookeville and Sparta should finish in June.
The $1.8 million project was originally scheduled to be completed May 30. White County Road Superintendent Clay Parker said progress has slowed due to weather.
“They’re moving along great, they have done some quick, fantastic work over there with the weather they’ve had to [deal with] this winter,” Parker said. “They landed in a bad time, in the winter time, but them boys have done fantastic.”
Construction crews are working on putting rails on both sides, Parker said. The bridge was beginning to deteriorate since few improvements have been made since its 1935 construction.
The bridge is located adjacent to Highway 111 near the White County-Putnam County line on a stretch of road that becomes South Jefferson Avenue. Parker said the City of Cookeville and White County have worked together on the project. He said Cookeville didn’t have state aid to fund the project, but White County did.
“It’s a BRZ bridge, that’s federal government funded,” Parker said. “The City of Cookeville [and our department] worked up the details and everything, and the City of Cookeville was great. I mean, they were great to work with.”
Robert Matthews Highway was a state road before Highway 111 was constructed. Parker said since it’s not a state road anymore, T-DOT did not undertake the project.
“Well the state, after they built 111, they no longer needed that section and so they gave it back to the county,” Parker said. “When the city annexed it in, they got the portion of it on their side.”