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Outdated East Hall bridge could be replaced this summer

POSTED: January 10, 2017 6:35 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Hall County is planning to replace the Joe Chandler Road bridge over the North Oconee River this summer while school is out. Officials said the bridge is outdated.

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An outdated East Hall bridge on a key traffic artery could be replaced this summer, pending approval by the Hall County Board of Commissioners Thursday.

The commission is set to consider spending primarily special purpose local option sales tax money on the nearly $1.2 million replacement of the bridge on Joe Chandler Road between Old Cornelia Highway and East Hall Road.

“We are replacing this bridge due to the lower tonnage ratings,” County Engineer Kevin McInturff said Tuesday.

“Typically, (ratings for) these older bridges are lowered a little bit yearly over time. This bridge is now at a rating where we need to go ahead and move forward with replacement.”

Signs on either side of the bridge, which is not far from East Hall Middle School, depict weight limits for trucks and other heavy vehicles.

At Monday’s work session, commissioners talked about the possibility of packaging the project with the much-anticipated Tumbling Creek Road bridge project between Gainesville and Oakwood.

“We were really trying to get this (Joe Chandler bridge) done in the summer while school is out. This is a school route,” said Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and public utilities director.

“And we’re looking at October getting (the) Tumbling Creek (project) out for bids.”

“Why so long?” Commissioner Scott Gibbs asked.

“It has to go through railroad and DOT approval,” Rearden said.

Commissioner Jeff Stowe he didn’t think the county “needed to wait” on the Joe Chandler project.

“That (bundling) would put us off another full year,” he said.



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