Old bridge might be closed until new one is ready

POSTED: 10:24 PM Jul 15 2013   UPDATED: 5:32 PM Jul 15 2013

An old steel bridge over the Holston River at Surgoinsville might not last until the one being built to replace it is ready.

The Associated Press is reporting the state gave Hawkins County until Wednesday to close the Longs Bend Road Bridge after numerous safety deficiencies were found.

In a July 3rd letter to county highway superintendent Lowell Bean, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said for the bridge to remain open, the county must make numerous repairs.  Bean figures the cost of fixing the old bridge at between $10,000 and $20,000.

Surgoinsville Vice-mayor Merrill Graham said if the bridge is closed until the new one is completed in May, it would be a hardship on local residents.