TUSCUMBIA — A new bridge across Spring Creek in Spring Park will be built through the cooperation of the city, local businesses, labor unions, engineers and others.
City Councilman Mike Isom said the city is paying for the materials, but the bridge will be built by members of Iron Workers Local #477 and Carpenters Local #1209.
There's a chance the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will be involved as well.
"We've been working on this for a year, a year and a half," Isom said. "We're going to try to do it with local labor and donations."
The labor unions are already committed, he said.
USA Concrete is providing concrete at a reduced rate. Structural engineer Richard Edmonds, of White Lynn and Collins, drew the plans for the bridge abutments at a reduced rate, Isom said, and Chad Elliott, of Bigbee Steel Buildings, drew the plans for the bridge.
Isom said the steel-frame bridge will be 95.6 feet long and 8 feet wide with a metal deck and concrete floor. It will be built in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
He said it will be built about 27 feet upstream from the swinging bridge, but not as a replacement.
"It's going to be a good looking metal bridge to go across that part of the creek," Mayor Kerry Underwood said.
He said the City Council recently approved the project, which will be paid for in part by a bond issue the city approved last year.
Isom said they anticipate receiving a $10,000 to $15,000 grant from the Colbert County Community Development Committee, which disburses Tennessee Valley Authority in lieu of tax money to various projects.
Isom said the cost of the materials is estimated at $47,000, but the grant could reduce that amount.
Isom said they're waiting on permits from the Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. Corps of Engineers. Once those are received, materials can be ordered.
Eddie Mitchell, organizer for Iron Workers Local #477 in Sheffield, said union members are glad to assist with the project.
"Mike Isom reached out to us," Mitchell said. "We're going to use our apprentices to perform all the labor. It will be good training for them."
Apprentices will do the fabrication and welding in their training center, he said. The bridge will be constructed in two pieces, then transported to the site where the two pieces will be bolted together.
Isom said C&I Crane Co. will lower the bridge into place.
Iron workers will also add the decking, hand rails and any ornamental work, and the rebar used in the concrete bridge abutments.
Mitchell said there could be up to 40 apprentices working on the project.
"The biggest benefit of this project is it helps build confidence," Mitchell said.
Tim Burns, business agent for Carpenters Local #1209 in Florence, said apprentices and journeymen will build forms for the concrete bridge abutments.
"It's good training and also something to help the community," Burns said. "We're always glad to help any way we can."
Isom said he hopes the bridge can be completed by next year's Helen Keller Festival.