By ZACK OWENSBY The Wilson Post
Due to a recurring problem at East Main Street in Lebanon near the Wilson County Courthouse, a major construction project will close the street for up to a year, said City of Lebanon Engineer Chuck Boyette.
The city closed the affected portion of the roadway, which is the right-hand, eastbound lane in front of CoffeeConnexion, a few weeks ago after a portion of the roadway began to sink, or settle, due to an underground cave system, as Boyette described it.
The project is being funded totally by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Bidding will open on Sept. 17 for the project. Construction typically begins about 60 days after a bid is accepted.
Crews will install foundations for piers under the roadway, essentially creating a bridge on top of the cave system, Boyette said.
At some points, the creek bed is as far as 40 feet below under the roadway.
“The entire project will take nine months to a year,” he said. The only costs required from the City of Lebanon will be involved in relocated water, sewer and gas lines around the project.
“At the very best it will take six months. At the longest, it could be upwards to a year or longer.”
Traffic will be prohibited from travelling the portion of the road under construction. Detours will be set up to bypass the roadwork.
“It’s going to be a major problem,” he said.
The underground groundwater system runs under the Lebanon Public Square and surfaces behind the Burger King. The waterway is estimated to originate as far south as Cedars of Lebanon State Park, he added.
The city fixed a similar problem in the 1980s at a similar location, Boyette added. He hopes this project will fix any issues for the foreseeable future.
Staff Writer Zack Owensby may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.