WJHL.com - School buses no longer allowed on Carter County bridge

School buses no longer allowed on Carter County bridge

Posted: Updated:
Due to a new weight limit on the Smalling Road Bridge buses will travel alternate routes for the remainder of the school year. Due to a new weight limit on the Smalling Road Bridge buses will travel alternate routes for the remainder of the school year.
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CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

A recommendation by the Tennessee Department of Transportation will cost the Carter County School system more than $100,000.

TDOT told school leaders this week to stop allowing school buses on the Smalling Road Bridge over the Watauga River.

A TDOT inspection revealed the bridge was not strong enough to withstand weight over 9 tons.  A school bus weighs between 9 and 15 tons.

As a result, buses will travel alternate routes for the remainder of the school year.

Director of School Kevin Ward said the system plans to buy two new buses which are smaller and within the safe weight limit to cross the bridge.  

The buses cost approximately $58,000 each, Ward said.

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