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Monday, January 30, 2012

In the news: Marion Memorial Bridge

Marion Memorial Bridge seen from Interstate 24

This bridge was built in 1929 to cross the Tennessee River for a new alignment of the Dixie Highway. Originally, there were toll booths on either side but they were removed in 1947. In the mid 1960's with the building of Nickajack Dam just downstream, which formed Nickajack Lake, the water level rose. The Bridge was rehabilitated and also hydraulically lifted 21 feet so that barge traffic could still pass below. While not the Dixie Highway anymore, it did carry the Cummings Highway, which is US41, US64 and US72.

After Interstate 24 was built near the same place, traffic on this bridge shrank. A friend of mine who lived in the area told me how she always hated driving across this bridge because it is narrow and you fell like you could fall off the side. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Recently, the bridge was determined by the state to be structurally deficient. Three weeks ago, on Jan. 9, 2012, the bridge was officially closed. In a couple of years, there will be a new, wider bridge at this location. For the full story, read this article:

On the Marion Memorial Bridge

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