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Historic GA Bridge Nearly Struck Again

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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A protective barrier placed near a historic covered bridge, located in Smyrna, Georgia, crossing Nickajack Creek, was struck on Dec. 4, for the 12th time this year, according to reports.

Roughly a year ago, $803,000 from a 2016 special-purpose local-option sales tax was spent restoring the bridge, which included work on siding and shingles. The bridge is also equipped with a number of warning signs.

Historic Bridge Incidents

The bridge dates back to 1872 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Last year’s rehabilitation took four months, during which time the contractor replaced the bridge’s decaying siding and shingles. The structure had also started to lean; it took 20 minutes to straighten the bridge, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The contract for the work had been awarded to Suncoast Restoration and Waterproofing.

In 2009, workers installed beams that look similar to giant yellow staples at the bridge entrances to serve as a height-limit warning to drivers. Despite the precautionary measure, the barrier is still struck roughly once a month.

In the most recent incident, which occurred earlier this month, the road was closed for a brief time as workers re-raised the metal beams. The beams, which were replaced on both sides of the bridge in October, are designed to break when struck. The culprit behind the most recent incident was a U-Haul truck. Unlike the last two near-hits, the diver stayed on the scene; their insurance is expected to be billed no more than $500.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, the county believes that while driving, travelers are focusing more on their GPS devices, which may warn them of the bridge, not the fact that it’s only 7 feet tall. Cobb County spokesperson Ross Cavitt noted that the county is working closely with the Waze on the Cobb Commute app, adding that the company has something in production that could potentially warn drivers of these kinds of low-hanging overpasses.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 drivers cross the bridge daily.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Health & Safety; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America

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