Last year, the Georgia Department of Transportation announced that $4.2 million had been allocated to construct a new bridge and approach to the City of Social Circle on S. Cherokee Road (formerly SR 11) ove CSX Railroad in Walton County. That construction is about to get underway and the road will be closed, effective Monday, Feb. 18, 2018.
According to GDOT, it will remain closed for about 210 days. (This has been updated from the original estimation of 180 days)
“The detour will be the bypass,” said GDOT spokesperson Katie Strickland.
The contractor is ER Snell and public safety officials were notified by ER Snell of the detour in order to make timely alternative plans in the case of an emergency. Since it is in the city, Social Circle Fire would be the first responders. Walton County Fire Rescue would be back up and officials have send it may require a change in the type of apparatus they would send for backup, but don’t expect it to cause any significant delays.
According to GDOT, 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,” a Georgia DOT said in a press release when the construction was announced.
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,” she said at the time. “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.”
The project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2019.