SURGOINSVILLE — The good news is that the contractor building Surgoinsville’s new bridge will only be closing the old bridge for 2-3 weeks in the final stages of construction, as opposed to 8-10 weeks.
The bad news, at least for Surgoinsville businesses, is that the closure is expected to take place right around the holidays.
Surgoinsville Mayor Johnny Greer said closing the Longs Bend Road bridge throughout most of December will have a serious negative economic impact on the town.
That’s the peak revenue generating time for the small town’s businesses, especially Surgoinsville’s biggest sales tax generator, the Dollar General Store.
It’s about an hour detour to get from one side of the bridge to the other when the bridge is closed. Aside from affecting residents it also impacts police and rescue agencies, school buses and public works.
The nearest Holston River crossings are on Burem Road in Rogersville or Goshen Valley Road in Church Hill. The Goshen Valley road bridge is currently under repair and reduced to one lane until February.
Representatives from Simpson Construction, which is building the bridge, as well as The Tennessee Department of Transportation, met with officials from Surgoinsville and Hawkins County Wednesday afternoon to discuss scheduling in the final stages of new bridge construction.
Read more in the Thursday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.