Bridge at entrance to Historic Downtown Social Circle to get $4.25 million upgrade

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The Georgia Department of Transportation announced $81.2 million transportation contracts awarded in Georgia this month, including $4.25 million for the 0.2 mile of construction of a bridge and approaches in the City of Social Circle on South Cherokee Road (formerly SR 11) over CSX Railroad in Walton County. The construction is required because the existing 64-year-old bridge is in poor condition and inadequate for current needs.

“The new bridge will be constructed in the existing location, raised slightly to achieve proper railroad clearances and the two travel lanes will be widened. Sidewalks will be added to connect to sidewalks along South Cherokee Road across the railroad,” Georgia DOT reported in a press release announcing the construction.

Social Circle City Manager Adele Schirmer noted that the bridge is in the heart of the city’s Historic District and is the primary entrance to the historic downtown area.

“GDOT developed the project plans and schedule with consideration and responsiveness to the community and to City input,” Schirmer said. “We understand that the bridge replacement will be temporarily disruptive, but a significant safety and infrastructure improvement for the long term. The inclusion of period appropriate detailing on the bridge was important and we appreciate the inclusion of this element in the construction plans. We are pleased to see this project moving into construction and look forward to working with GDOT towards successful completion of this infrastructure improvement.”

Georgia DOT has said that the construction will require the roadway to be closed for up to 180 calendar days during construction—excluding the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas—with a detour using SR 11/Social Circle Bypass. In accordance with a request from Social Circle officials, an ornamental fence will be used instead of the standard chain link. The contract was awarded to E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. of Snellville, Ga. Georgia DOT said the expected completion is Oct. 31, 2019.

This Social Circle Bridge is one of 27 construction contracts for a total of $81,216,508 awarded by Georgia DOT. These projects were advertised in December, bids were received in January and the contracts were awarded on Feb. 2 to the lowest qualified bidder.

The awards bring the seven-month Fiscal Year 2018 total construction contracts to $645.7 million. FY 18 that began July 1. Georgia DOT said Routine maintenance represents over 80 percent of the awarded funds, addresses resurfacing on 664 miles of roadway – including every GDOT district in the state. In addition, several bridge rehabilitation contracts were awarded. This focus on deferred routine maintenance is made possible through funds resulting from Georgia’s Transportation Funding Act (TFA) of 2015.
 
Georgia DOT says Award Announcement list Information on schedules, lane closures and detours will be made available in advance of construction activities.

Roadway work zones are hazardous for workers and for the public. In fact, most fatalities in work zone crashes are drivers or passengers. Obey the rules in work zones – Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers.  And always, expect the unexpected. It can make the difference between life and death. Remember – work zone safety is in your hands.

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