Westbound tractor-trailer rigs, detoured because of the I-40 rockslide at the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, are prohibited from taking the shorter detour on U.S. 25-70. Motorists encounter a portable emergency sign flashing through a series of messages: “No thru trucks … to Tenn over 10 tons … on US 25-70.” As a result, semis and heavy trucks must take I-26 over Sams Gap and join I-81 farther north than if they followed US 25-70.
The reason? An old bridge over the French Broad, classified as in poor condition and deteriorating.
Alongside the old bridge, work continues on its replacement.
WATE.com reported in December 2009 that traffic had doubled over the old bridge since the rockslide shut down a stretch of I-40.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) also says there have been some trucks crossing the bridge that shouldn’t be because they’re too big. They believe one truck even struck the bridge. …
TDOT says the bridge is in poor condition and it’s deteriorating. The problem is, it has a 10 ton weight limit, but there have been too many large trucks driving across it. …
Crews are building a new bridge. It’s expected to be complete by next spring. That’s when the current the 25/70 Bridge will close.
Link to story: http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=11542044
photos by Susan Hutchinson