SR 81 Bridge over Apalachee River set to open next week

The bridge on SR 81 over the Apalachee River at the Walton Barrow County line is set to open to traffic next week, seven weeks ahead of schedule.

According to a press release from the Georgia Department Of Transportation, the planned opening date is Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015.

New SR 81 Bridge over Apalachee River is 40 feet wide with room for pedestrians or cyclists to use the shoulders of the bridge to cross. Shoulders also serve as a refuge area out of traffic if needed. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Transportation.
New SR 81 Bridge over Apalachee River is 40 feet wide with room for pedestrians or cyclists to use the shoulders of the bridge to cross. Shoulders also serve as a refuge area out of traffic if needed. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Transportation.

“The finishing touches are happening now, installing guardrail and paving then striping the road as it approaches each end of the bridge. Crews are scheduled to pave Tuesday, Sept. 8, Brent Cook, Georgia DOT District Engineer serving Northeast Georgia said in the release. “This work requires traffic to be flagged through the work zone from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as paving finishes, traffic will be switched to use that bridge. The new turning lane into River Mill Road will open Wednesday as paving finishes on the project. Demolition of the original bridge will begin soon.”

Original SR 81 Bridge over Apalachee River. It is only 28 feet wide and has no shoulders; no place to get out of the travel lanes if needed. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Transportation
Original SR 81 Bridge over Apalachee River. It is only 28 feet wide and has no shoulders; no place to get out of the travel lanes if needed. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Transportation

This $2.4 million construction project was awarded to Pittman Construction Company, of Conyers. Georgia DOT reports that the new bridge for SR 81 over the Apalachee River has 12 feet wide lanes and an 8 feet wide bike-able shoulder in each direction. The project also builds a left turn lane from State Route 81 to River Mill Road. The project completion date is October 31, 2015.

The original bridge was built in 1955 and does not meet current design standards.

 

About Sharon Swanepoel 4224 Articles
Sharon Swanepoel is the Publisher and Editor of Monroe Local.
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