I recently talked with the site supervisor to get an update on the Concord Covered Bridge project. He reports that work is progressing well with no major problems and that they are on schedule.
To start the project, two very large, tall pine trees were carefully removed from near the Mableton end of the Covered Bridge, and now there is much more daylight at the bridge. The tree roots were encroaching the bridge footings and their falling branches, needles and sap have been damaging the bridge’s roof shingles. Signs and temporary safety fences were erected to protect both bridge ends and a long temporary platform was constructed a couple of feet under the length of the bridge for worker safety and to protect Nickajack Creek.
The heavy oak deck planks have been loosened or removed to give workers access to the supporting structures underneath. The contractors have cleaned the 8 long steel I-beams running under the length of the bridge deck, and they carefully welded steel diaphragm members connecting between the I-beams to stabilize and strengthen the deck structure. They have started the complex process of straightening the bridge deck and superstructure and have removed the exterior wall planks from the Mableton end of the bridge in order to start constructing the steel boxes (rectangles) that will reinforce and stabilize the straightened bridge sides and roof. The new steel boxes will be camouflaged to match the wooden bridge beams. The primed steel work will all be painted later, near the end of the project. If you’re interested in getting a look at the support structures under the deck, this weekend is a good time (but please stay behind the safety barrier fences).
The project is currently on-track to reopen the week of December 10th.