McClure Bridge project features innovative new building approaches


After 53 years, the McClure Bridge along State Route 149 in Clarksville is seeing its final months.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kathryn Schulte, TDOT Spokesperson.

On Friday, crews spent the day testing concrete and using it to fill the bridge’s piers.

“Once we get all the piers built, we will set new beams up on top, and then build your riding surface on top of that,” said Mike Miller, Project Manager of Thompson Engineering.

The four-year $65 million project is the second biggest project in Middle Tennessee, next to I-440.  

The building process and design for the new five-lane bridge are relatively new for the state, like drilling shafts that help give the bridge more stability.

“We’ve used drilling shafts on this bridge and 10 foot in diameter and some 100 feet in ground and placed into the limestone rock,” said Miller.

Miller said the new approach also includes more beams.

“It’s just the more beams you have the more redundancy you have,” he said. “If one of those fail, you’ve still got seven more to hold it up.”

“This is a big project, also innovative, the processes we’re using,” said Schulte. “So really for the state of Tennessee, all eyes are on this bridge project right now.”

The project is set to be done in the summer of 2021.

“Just be patient, we’re working as fast as we can,” said Miller.

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