It might be a frustrating weekend for those who take Thrasher Bridge on Highway 153. All weekend, drivers will have to take alternative routes because the bridge is closed.
Many drivers use Thrasher Bridge as their main route traveling to and from Hixson. Friday, many drivers told us they sat in traffic for more than half an hour just to make it home.
Chris Lockey is one frustrated commuter. He lives in Hixson and usually takes Thrasher Bridge on his drive home.
"I was supposed to pick my daughter up at 6:00 at the daycare, it's not going to happen, I was supposed to drop my bike off and get my car, it's not going to happen," said Lockey.
The Thrasher Bridge over the Chickamauga Dam will be closed until Monday morning at 6am while TVA crews work to repair several aging expansion joints.
The work is done every 15-years to maintain the bridge. Ethan Bruce says he's not happy about taking alternative routes this weekend.
"You can't really get to where we're going really quickly, we're having to go around a lot of stuff," said Bruce.
This weekend, you'll have to use Amnicola Highway and DuPont Parkway to cross the river.
Many drivers told us the traffic delays are causing a headache, but at least the construction to the bridge is being done over the weekend and not during the week when traffic would be worse.
"Fortunately I don't have to get out this weekend so I'm going to stay up in the north end of the county," said driver Jack Richeson.
Meanwhile, many restaurant and store owners on Highway 153 in Hixson say the detours will make for a slow weekend for their business.
"Typically on Thursday and Friday nights we're a little bit busier, and since it's [the bridge] been closed, it's really impacted us, business has slowed down," said Dane Ratliff from Penn State East Coast Subs.
The repairs to the bridge will cost about $500,000.
By Jerry Askin
Repairs to roadway expansion joints on the Thrasher Bridge over the Tennessee Valley Authority's Chickamauga Dam will require a complete closure to traffic from June 19-23.
The closure will be from approximately 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 19, until approximately 6 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 23, subject to suitable weather.
TVA worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a repair plan that provided the greatest degree of safety for motorists and repair workers while minimizing repair times. The schedule also will avoid holiday weekends or major area events, such as the Riverbend Festival.
Southbound motorists traveling on Tennessee Highway 153 will be diverted onto Dupont Parkway and northbound traffic onto Amnicola Highway. All vehicles will cross the river on the C.B. Robinson Bridge. The total detour is less than 1.5 miles (pictured above).
Signs and placards will direct local access to Lakeshore Drive for both north- and southbound traffic:
- Northbound traffic on Highway 153 will follow the detour, exit Dupont Parkway at North Access Road, turn right off the exit ramp and follow north access to Lakeshore Drive.
- Southbound traffic on Highway 153 will drive past Dupont Parkway and exit at Lakeshore Drive before the dam, as usual.
Multiple expansion joints on the north end of the bridge have degraded over time and need to be replaced. Additional concrete work also will be done to ensure the continued safe operation of the bridge for years to come.