Lula’s historic wooden bridge has been closed by the Georgia Department of Transportation because of structural deficiencies, the city posted Wednesday, May 6, on its Facebook page.
The Cobb Street bridge will be closed until corrections can be made by Norfolk Southern railroad, the city said.
Lula said it closed the bridge after being notified by phone by the state’s bridge inspection division. Issues were found during an annual DOT inspection.
The city and Norfolk Southern “hope to receive the comprehensive account of findings in the coming weeks so we all can begin to understand the scope of repairs and a possible schedule for repairs,” according to the Facebook post.
“The bridge has been posted at 5 tons (weight limit) for a while. However, no rehab or preservation work has been performed on it, and the bridge has continued to deteriorate,” DOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said in an email. “We discovered the bridge did not rate 5 tons, and therefore, we had to close the bridge.”
The nearly 75-year-old bridge crosses railroad tracks in the downtown area, connecting Main and Wall streets. It “has been rebuilt at least twice in its long history of serving North Hall and Banks County communities,” according to the post.
The bridge last closed in 2015 because of deficiencies, reopening in 2016. And before that, it last closed in April 2011, reopening in October 2012.
“For those familiar with this process through the years, repairs can be time-consuming,” the post states.