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Eyes on the Road: Clarks Bridge project has 2 key bidders
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The Georgia Department of Transportation received a couple of bids Friday on the Clarks Bridge replacement project, but the project won’t be awarded until at least next month.

The bids were $8.73 million and nearly $10 million for the project, which had been estimated at $8.5 million.

“Both the apparent low bid and (the higher bid) will be evaluated for compliance over the next couple of weeks and a contract theoretically could be awarded Feb. 1,” said David Spear, DOT spokesman.

The project calls for replacement of the bridge on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road at Lake Lanier, near Clarks Bridge Park and the Olympic rowing and canoe and kayak venue.

Overall, the new bridge will be 952 feet long, nearly 50 feet wide and have five columns in Lake Lanier. Bike lanes and sidewalks will run along Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road for 2,781 feet, officials have said.

The current bridge, built in 1958, is 834 feet long and nearly 24 feet wide. Its 2010 average daily traffic count was 6,130 vehicles, according to the DOT.

The project also will feature a 63-foot pedestrian tunnel connecting Clarks Bridge Park and Lake Lanier Rowing Club/Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club’s boathouse to the Olympic venue and boat ramps.

The completion date is Dec. 31, 2015.

New MPO planner works to understand area roads

Nicole Spivey, the Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s new senior transportation planner, said one of her first jobs has been trying to grasp the area’s road network.

“As far as the overall planning process, it’s very similar to Alabama,” she said, speaking of her native state.

“You guys definitely have got great transparency, great public support and there seems to be a pretty well-defined, streamlined process as far as getting projects and how new projects are developed — and getting the public’s reaction to that.”

In her new job, she will manage day-to-day MPO activities and work closely with local, regional, state and federal planning officials, said Srikanth Yamala, Hall County’s planning director.

“Of course, there are areas in any (road) network that need improvement and some of what I’ll be looking into,” said Spivey, who previously worked as the administrator for the Southeast Wiregrass MPO in Dothan, Ala.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in health services administration and a master’s degree in community planning from Auburn University in Alabama. She also is a member of the American Planning Association and Alabama Transportation Planners Association.

Culvert being replaced along Montrose Drive

Montrose Drive in Gainesville could be closed for about three months between Holly Drive to Woodland Drive, as workers replace a faulty culvert.

The project is needed because the structure “is degraded and has had a partial collapse,” said Stan Aiken, senior civil engineer in Gainesville’s public works department.

The work wasn’t expected to start for a couple of weeks, but rainy weather last week forced the city to close that stretch of road early.

Rain, apparently, was “saturating the embankment” near the culvert, Aiken said.

The early closing was done as a safety precaution, he added.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:




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