A bridge just south of downtown Franklin is set to close for up to six months.
The South Main Street bridge, which carries traffic over Youngs Creek, will be torn out and rebuilt this year.
The $1.5 million project will require that section of the road to close, beginning as soon as Feb. 27, and remain closed until the project is completed by Aug. 1. Traffic will be directed to take South Street or Wayne Street to the bridge on Home Avenue.
Local officials have been planning the project, which received federal funding, for more than a year, said Justin Schneck, on-site project manager for Crossroad Engineers, which is overseeing inspection of the project. The county is planning an informational meeting Tuesday where residents can ask questions about the project, he said.
The bridge has deteriorated over the years, and the most efficient way to address it is to replace the bridge, rather than repair it, Schneck said.
“There comes a certain point, where instead of repairing, it’s better to spend the money to tear out and rebuild,” Schneck said.
The bridge is one of the main routes into downtown Franklin from the south. About 1,200 vehicles cross the bridge daily, he said.
Replacing the bridge is separate from a project the city is planning along South Main Street in the next two to three years. The city already received a grant that will pay for about half of the $3 million project to revitalize the route into downtown, similar to what was done along North Main Street.
That project will include sidewalks on both sides of the road, new decorative lighting and monuments and added parking. The work will be focused on the area between the bridge over Youngs Creek and Champ Ulysses Street. Between Champ Ulysses Street and U.S. 31, which is more rural, the project will add a bike path and a gateway feature at U.S. 31.
Work is planned to begin after construction is finished on Jefferson and King streets. Once the South Main Street project is done, the city will be finished with improvements to its gateways meant to draw people in to key areas.
The county is hosting an informational meeting to answer questions about the upcoming replacement of the bridge over Young Creek on South Main Street, just south of downtown.
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Courthouse annex, 86 W. Court St., Franklin