Railroad wants county to address Warren Avenue bridge
Lincoln County Supervisors may soon have to take steps to rebuild or tear down an out-of-commission bridge on Warren Avenue in the city of Brookhaven.
In a letter from Canadian National, supervisors were called upon to make a decision on what to do with the all-wooden bridge on Warren Avenue. The request cited that the bridge, which had already been declared a hazard to vehicles traveling across it, had become hazardous for trains passing under it.
Jerry Wilson, supervisor for District 1, said the board has tried to do something about the bridge in the past but faced some obstacles. The bridge is in his district.
“The bridge was not built for modern transportation,” City Attorney Joe Fernald said. “In order to replace it, it would be extremely expensive to pay for things like grading and road design.”
Fernald said it was the amount of money it would take for the project that halted any changes to the bridge in the past. Fernald said at least eight years ago the city and county went through a project to look at reconstructing the bridge.
“We explored it in great detail,” Fernald said. He also said a joint decision was made then to not take any action with the bridge due to cost. He said there was no other place on the railroad near the area that would fulfill a bridge’s clearance requirements without taking over existing businesses and homes, which the city would have to purchase.
There are currently two in-service bridges in the city that provide alternate routes across the railroad tracks from east part of the city to the west: the bypass bridge on U.S. Hwy. 84 and the county bridge on Industrial Park Road.
Wilson said he’s waiting along with the other supervisors until Monday to make a decision on what to do with the bridge.
The county plans to revisit the request and possibly make a decision during the next supervisor’s meeting, Monday at 9 a.m.