GDOT to conduct open house on Little River bridge
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@cherokeetribune.com
October 19, 2012 01:52 AM | 2902 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — The Georgia Department of Transportation will conduct a public open house to discuss a proposal to build a new bridge over Little River at the Cherokee County and Fulton County line.

The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at Mountain Road Elementary School, 615 Mountain Road, Woodstock. The public is invited to view, comment and ask questions of the project. The meeting will be informal and there will be no formal presentation, according to GDOT.

The purpose of the federally-funded project is to replace the existing “structurally deficient” bridge on SR 140 that spans Little River, according to GDOT officials.

The new bridge will be shifted approximately 50 feet to the north of the existing alignment. The existing bridge will be maintained while the proposed bridge is constructed, according to GDOT.

“The fact that the existing bridge is classified under the federal definition as ‘structurally deficient’ does not imply that it is unsafe,” said GDOT spokesman Mohamed Arafa.

“It just means that the bridge has a ‘sufficiency rating’ of less than 50 and thus qualifies for federal funding to replace it in order address its deficiencies.”

A sufficiency rating is calculated on a 0 to 100 scale and is based on a formula defined by the Federal Highway Administration.

It accounts for multiple factors such as inspection results of the structural condition of the bridge, traffic volumes, number of lanes, road widths, clearances and the importance of public use, said Arafa.

“To put it simply, a bridge’s sufficiency rating provides an overall measure of the bridge’s condition,” he said. “(It’s) used to determine eligibility for federal funding.”

A cost for the project has yet to be established, said Arafa.

“The project is still in planning and we will not know the cost until it goes into the bidding process, the lower bidder is selected and a contract is awarded; a process that is roughly scheduled for October 2014,” he said. “Construction starts when a notice to proceed is sent to the lower bidder.”

Written statements about the project will also be accepted from the public until Nov. 29.

Statements may addressed to: Mr. Glenn Bowman, P.E., State Environmental Administrator, Georgia Department of Transportation, 600 West Peachtree St. N.W., 16th floor, Atlanta, GA 30308.

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