A crucial stretch of Interstate 24 in Nashville will be shut down for repairs nearly every weekend this summer. Officials say they’re trying to overhaul two bridges while keeping I-24 open on weekdays, as well as for a couple of big weekend events.
Along the east side of the city near LP field, I-24 will shut down nearly every weekend through August. A pair of 50-year-old bridges need new concrete, but officials are trying not to disrupt rush-hour traffic. And they’ll leave the road open for big events like the Music City Marathon and CMA Music Festival.
Wayne Seger, the transportation department’s director of structures, says they’ll do the job in pieces. Usually workers would jack-hammer the road down before re-pouring concrete. Instead, Seger says they’ll pre-make 24-foot-long panels nearly a foot thick, and ready to drop in.
“The contractor will saw-cut the deck, lift those segments – it’d just be like slicing pie – and lift those pieces out. And then be able to set these pre-cast panels into place.”
Seger says more than a hundred thousand people drive that stretch of I-24 each day, but during weekends it’s not concentrated during rush hour. Barring nasty weather, workers expect to get started April 20, and hope to be done in August, before the Titans football season gets underway.
Closures will start on Friday nights at 9 o’clock and continue through 5 a.m. Monday morning, except on weekends of heavy rain. Officials say they’ve scheduled a few substitute weekends in, in case they have to make up time lost to bad weather.
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer says the two bridges are suffering “severe deterioration,” and repairing them will cost $8.7 million. He says during the week all lanes of I-24 will be open, and is careful to point out the project is not adding more lanes – just fixing the bridges.