Old bridge might be closed until new one ready

SURGOINSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An old steel bridge over the Holston River at Surgoinsville might not last until the one being built to replace it is ready.

The Kingsport Times-News reported the state gave Hawkins County until Wednesday to close the Longs Bend Road Bridge after numerous safety deficiencies were found.

In a July 3 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.

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