Local officials are not happy that it’s taking so long to fix the Veterans Memorial Bridge on College Street over Broad Street.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation let bids for the project Friday, February 10 and Mid-State Construction Company, Inc. had the apparent lowest bid at $238,600.58.
The bid was initially expected to be awarded by mid-March with construction to follow. The completion time on the project was to have been on or before September 30. But TDOT rejected the bid.
“The project was rejected in the February letting because the bid prices came in too high. We are looking at ways to lower them and once we decide on how to do this we will re-let the project and see what we get. We understand that it is an inconvenience, but we must be good stewards of the public’s money and look for fair and equitable prices,” Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Community Relations Officer told WJLE
During Monday night’s meeting of the city council, Mayor Jimmy Poss and Aldermen said they wanted state lawmakers to intervene with TDOT in an effort to expedite the project.
In a LIVE radio interview with WJLE Tuesday morning, State Representative Mark Pody said he planned to meet with TDOT officials this week to discuss the project. “I am meeting with TDOT to see what we can do to speed up this project. I can’t tell TDOT who to get their bids from because they have to go through that process but because it has been delayed I can ask what we can do to start moving this thing along much faster,” said Pody.
The bridge was damaged in June, 2016 when a DeKalb County Landfill truck, driven by 54 year old Roger Chapman, hit the underside of the bridge as it was traveling east on Broad Street. Although the truck carried no dumpster at the time, the lift was up. The bridge has been closed since the accident.