WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help the Tennessee Department of Transportation cover the costs of repairing the I-65 bridge over Peytonsville Road, located in the city of Franklin south of Nashville, which was damaged by a truck fire.
“Commuters rely on this key link every day to get to jobs, shopping, school and back to their homes, and these funds are a down payment on our commitment to restoring this important transportation connection to the people of Tennessee,” said Secretary Foxx.
A tanker truck carrying fuel crashed and then exploded under an I-65 overpass bridge at the Exit 61/Peytonsville Road Interchange south of Nashville. The existing bridge was under contract for replacement, and the fire also significantly damaged part of the replacement structure that was under construction but not yet open to traffic. What was left of the bridge was completely demolished for safety reasons – leaving residents, businesses and emergency crews without a simple way to cross I-65 in the town of Franklin.
The first five lanes of a new 10-lane bridge would have been open by winter. FHWA emergency relief funds now will go towards fast-tracking the entire reconstruction of the bridge and interchange at the crash site and setting up the necessary detours using highway 96.
“FHWA is committed to working with the state to accelerate the construction of this bridge,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We know that I-65 is heavily used in the region by residents and businesses alike and understand the urgency to get this bridge up and running again.”
Funds from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program will reimburse TDOT for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of the crash. FHWA will provide additional funds in the future as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed. FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.