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Needed bridge put new priority on surrounding roadwork

POSTED: December 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Tom Reed/The Times

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to replace this bridge on Ga. 52 over the Chattahoochee River and realign a portion of the road.

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Plans to fix the roadway around a bridge near Lula Park in northeast Hall have lingered for at least a decade, but they’ve gained priority as the need to replace the bridge has risen.

"It’s easier and a more efficient use of money to go ahead and do (the roadwork and bridge) together," said Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"When the bridge needed to be replaced, we knew the associated corrections to the ... path the roadway takes would go with that," she added.

Pope noted that the bridge on Ga. 52 at the Chattahoochee River is still sound.

"You can still use it and not have any problems, but we have got it into the (DOT’s) work program, and it is on the (project) list now," she said.

"We’d rather replace it before the need is critical."

The department has set an informal public meeting on the project for 5 p.m. Dec. 2 in the cafeteria of Lula Elementary School, 6130 Chattahoochee St.

DOT engineers will be available to discuss the project.

"Along with replacing the bridge, we plan to straighten out some curves and flatten the road around the bridge," said district engineer Russell McMurry.

The project, which will begin about seven-tenths of a mile west of Ga. 365, will cover about 1.3 miles.

The new bridge would be 40 feet wide, including 8-foot shoulders and 12-foot travel lanes. The new road would have 10-foot shoulders and 12-foot lanes.

The project will take place near Lula Park, a small U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property with a parking lot and boat ramp.

The work will "take out all the curves down to the river," said Hall County Commissioner Steve Gailey, who represents North Hall.

"The new bridge is going to the righthand side of the existing bridge, it’s my understanding, and they’re possibly looking at ... putting in some passing lanes eventually on Ga. 52 up the hill toward the Glade Farm area," he added. "But we never know what’s going to happen with the DOT."

Because of budget shortfalls, the department is going through a reprioritization of projects statewide.

"It’ll be a good thing if they can do that (project)," Gailey said.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting may send comments to Glenn Bowman, Georgia DOT, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, GA, 30336.

All comments will be considered in the development of the final project design and must be received by Dec. 16.

The plans can be viewed after the Dec. 2 meeting at www.dot.ga.gov. Click on "Public Outreach," then select the project’s county and click "Go."



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