City Manager Marianne Elfert said in 2006 Carter County turned maintenance responsibilities of several bridges in the city limits over to Lone Grove.


“We’ve accounted for and inspected those bridges we agreed to be our responsibility,” she said. “This bridge on Brock was, at that time, not our responsibility.”


Dale Ott, Carter County Commissioner District 3, disagrees.


The bridge on South Brock Road is being replaced, despite confusion as to who will be footing the bill.

 

The bridge is closed to traffic until a new bridge is built, costing the city more than $40,000.

 

City Manager Marianne Elfert said in 2006 Carter County turned maintenance responsibilities of several bridges in the city limits over to Lone Grove.

 

“We’ve accounted for and inspected those bridges we agreed to be our responsibility,” she said. “This bridge on Brock was, at that time, not our responsibility.”

 

Dale Ott, Carter County Commissioner District 3, disagrees.

 

“It’s always been the city’s,” Ott said. “Inadvertently, it was left off the list.”

 

The City Council met in emergency session April 12 and awarded Brown Construction Company the $40,512 contract to replace the bridge.

 

The bridge was closed Monday morning.

 

The first plan was to close one side of the bridge and reduce the allowed maximum weight of the bridge from 9 tons to 4 tons. However, drivers continued to violate the new restrictions.

 

“It would have been safe for cars and light trucks, but you can’t control who goes across it,” Elfert said. “We don’t have the staffing to post out there.

 

Cobb Engineering issued a report on March 10 pointing out the “structural deficiencies” of the bridge, including a large hole on one side.

 

Elfert said she did not see the report until she requested it on April 15 and does not know why the city was not informed of the report sooner.

 

“I don’t legally know if it’s my bridge,” she said. “I have no agreement that says it’s mine, nothing in writing that says it’s mine. I have a bill.”

 

Elfert said the money to replace the bridge will come from the funds normally used for street repaving.

 

“Normally we’d fund a mile of road rebuild a year,” she said. “This year we won’t be able to do that.”

 

The city manager said she hopes Federal Emergency Management Agency funds from the Christmas blizzard of 2009 will help offset the cost of the bridge replacement.