A portion of Interstate 65 in Middle Tennessee will be closed in both directions this weekend to remove a bridge that was damaged when a truck carrying gasoline hit one of its supporting columns and caught fire.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says it will close the interstate at mile marker 61 in Franklin during the following times:
** Friday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. – Monday, Sept. 22 at 5 a.m.
** Tuesday, Sept. 16 – Thursday, Sept 18 a single lane in each direction will be closed from 8 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Vehicles will still be able to use the ramps at state Route 248 to bypass the closures and re-enter on the other side, but TDOT is urging motorists to use alternate routes, since the shutdown is expected to create a massive traffic jam.
Officials are advising travelers to use alternate routes such as Interstate 24 or state Route 840.
TDOT officials say crews are building a new bridge over the interstate, but it will take at least 75 days. The new bridge is scheduled to reopen by November 27, weather permitting, and as long as the right construction materials are available. Traffic will resume over I-65 at that time.
The bridge was damaged beyond repair on August 15 when a tanker carrying gasoline slammed into a vertical column supporting the bridge and exploded. The driver, 67-year-old Bobby Bobo of Columbia, was killed upon impact. There were no other injuries.