Cedartown’s city hall will play host to the Georgia Department of Transportation in coming weeks as they are planning an open house over a new bridge replacement project.
The small bridge over Skeeter Creek on North Main Street just past the intersection with West Girard Avenue is due for a replacement, and the open house will specifically be over how GDOT plans to detour traffic around construction work for the duration of the project.
The Thursday, June 27 open house planned to allow the public to hear about plans and ask questions and make comment will run from 5 to 7 p.m. City officials are encouraging business owners in the proposed construction zone north of West Girard and south of the intersection of Vance Avenue.
GDOT specifically wants to hear from the public and specifically business owners in the area around the bridge about proposed detours around construction, and how those might impact traffic and commerce through the area.
The open house is planned to be informal, and they plan to make no presentation on the project specifically. However, a court reporter will be on hand to take down public comments, and those who want to make written statements can send them onward to GDOT until Thursday, July 11. They ask all comments be mailed to Eric Duff, the State Environmental Administrator at the Georgia Department of Transportation at 600 W. Peachtree St. NW — 16th floor, Atlanta, Ga., 30308.
Accommodations for those with disabilities can be made by calling ahead to Joseph Ciavarro at 678-721-5257.
Documents available on the GDOT website state the bridge is in fair condition overall and the deck in good condition, but the 81-year-old structure was built with a “H-15 vehicle, which is below current design standards.”
Construction isn’t slated to start anytime soon, but when they do they plan to not just replace the bridge with one meeting current standards. GDOT is also planning to replace a section of the roadway north and south that will lead up to the new structure, starting 400 feet southwest of the Vance Avenue intersection and ending 260 northeast of the intersection with West Girard Avenue.
There will be two 11-foot travel lanes and a 14-foot center turn lane with curb and gutter and sidewalks to match existing infrastructure and the widened roadway. That will match what is already in place, and at a proposed cost of over $2.1 million.
The bridge, built in 1938, was widened in 1949 and is 34 feet long and 52 feet wide. GDOT’s report cited some issues with minor cracking in concrete piers and an “unknown foundation and there are signs of scour at the abutments.”
“Due to the age of the structure, structural integrity of the bridge pertaining to the design vehicle, and the unknown foundation of the substructure, replacement of this bridge is recommended,” the report stated.
With all that in mind, GDOT will also have to work out how to handle currently buried utility lines and power poles near the structure. Those include gas, fiber optic lines for internet service, lines from AT&T, water and sewer from the City of Cedartown and Georgia Power electrical distribution lines.
The report stated that of two options available for the bridge’s replacement, they are going with the $2.1 million cost and 12 month construction timetable.
It is not the only bridge proposed for replacement in Polk County. On Highway 27 spanning Lake Creek, GDOT is seeking to replace the span that is also more than 80 years old.
The bridge first built in 1937 was widened in 1982 and 1998, and is due for at least a $6 million replacement, depending on which option GDOT chooses to utilize. It would take anywhere between 15 and 18 months, but is not yet past the concept phase.