Once before, the city of Nashville considered not replacing the Collins Road bridge over Mine Creek after it was washed out by heavy rains.
But the outcry from persons who regularly used that route cause the city to reconsider.
Then-Mayor Bo Castleberry recalls that the city was approved for a grant to replace the structure, “but we couldn’t even afford our share which was about $200,000.”
That old bridge was an iron and wood structure with high iron sides.
Castleberry recalled Monday that then-Howard County Judge Max Tackett described how he had successfully used retired railcars as bridges on rural roads in the county. The county offered to help.
The upshot was that a “railcar” bridge was installed and Collins Road traffic resumed.
Current Public Works Director Larry Dunaway told the newspaper Monday that city crews went to the bridge last week to make some pothole repairs. Making an inspection underneath the bridge, they noticed a great deal of deterioration, and Dunaway made the decision to close the bridge.
He said that the bridge is actually in four pieces. The city will remove the asphalt cover in order to save money, then the city will advertise for bids for removing the old structure. That will happen after the city council considers replacement, he added.
The high water that washed out the bridge occurred before the construction of Lake Louis Graves at the head of the watershed. The impoundment holds back rushing runoff waters after heavy rains.
Collins Road connects the east side of the business district to the Hwy. 27 Bypass and the Sand Hill neighborhood.
There are ‘closed’ signs on each end of the street, and there are large concrete blocks preventing traffic from attempting to cross the structure.