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Work on repairing Lulas Cobb Street bridge has started
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Work has begun on repairing the Cobb Street bridge in Lula.

Work has started on the Cobb Street bridge that spans the railroad in Lula, and repairs could be completed by the end of September, according to Norfolk Southern spokesman Rick Harris.

However, delays in delivery of materials or weather could interfere with that work.

The railroad, city and state Department of Transportation officials agreed in July that Norfolk Southern would pay for, and make, the repairs to the bridge.

Norfolk Southern plans to replace six timber beams supporting the bridge deck and one timber post in the repairs.

“Our understanding is that the work could be completed within 30 days. However, it could be delayed, in the event additional timbers have to be replaced that were not identified initially,” Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin said by email.

The bridge closed in October 2015 after failing a Georgia Department of Transportation inspection. It also was closed from April 2011 to October 2012 for a similar issue.

Burgin said in July that the planned repairs should take care of the bridge needs for the foreseeable future.

“We feel confident the longevity of the bridge is being extended in its current form,” Bergin said in July about the expected repairs.

The city and DOT had said the bridge needed to be repaired, but Norfolk Southern in March proposed tearing down the bridge and replacing it. The railroad agreed to pay for the demolition and offered to make a cash contribution of $100,000 to Lula.

But the city maintained that the bridge over railroad tracks should be repaired.

The state DOT set a deadline of July 8 for the repairs on the bridge to start or Norfolk Southern could face fines of up to $500 per day.

The railroad, city and DOT agreed on the repairs July 5.

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