MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Around 4 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2011, a weak foundation and heavy rain destroyed a bridge in the back of the Big Bell neighborhood near Hickory Withe. For more than 50 homes, the bridge was the only road residents could take to get out of the neighborhood. Fayette County Public Works has been working non-stop for 2 days, dropping rock and gravel across a muddy pasture in an effort to create a temporary access road for stranded residents.
Joann Allen, Fayette County Commissioner, said, “They're a little irritated, but I think most of them are hanging in there. We're certainly doing all we can as fast as we can.”
Mayor Rhea Taylor said the one factor that has been slowing down the progress is getting the material. Crews have also been dealing with water and very muggy ground, which causes the process to go slower. While crews continue to build this new access road, Shelby County officers are using off-road Hydra-Trek vehicles to transport residents from their homes to the safe side of the neighborhood.
Rhea Taylor, Fayette County Mayor, said, “We are trying to make sure their needs are met. If they have a place they need to go we are trying to get them there. Even though this may be an inconvenience, at least they'll be able to get out when they need to. That's our hope and goal.”
The temporary road should be finished by December 7th. Once the temporary road is in use, Fayette County Public Works will begin rebuilding the bridge that collapsed.