Public forum to be held to discuss bridge project

ALBANY, Ga. -- A public forum is scheduled this afternoon to give citizens an opportunity to look at design concepts and gather more information surrounding the proposed construction of a replacement for the defunct Broad Avenue bridge.

The open house is scheduled to begin this afternoon at 4 p.m. and continue until 6 p.m. at the Riverfront Resource Center, 125 Pine Ave.

GDOT Project Manager Clinton Ford said the open house will not include a formal presentation so the public is welcome anytime within the two-hour time frame.

"There will be numerous displays that will be stationed around the center with information pertaining to the bridge project," said Ford.

GDOT representatives will be available at the open house to take questions from the public.

Josh Orton of Heath and Lineback Engineers said officials with the engineering firm who worked on possible designs for the new bridge will also be at the open house.

"We are going to have stations set up where people can view the possible project designs for the bridge," he said.

Orton said stakeholders have narrowed the design options of the new bridge to two possible styles -- a standard girder style or a segmental style design.

The simplest design, a standard girder style that would be the cheapest both in terms of construction and maintenance cost, would require complete demolition of the current bridge, including other current water-based structures that would add to the time of demolition and increase environmental concerns.

A segmental style bridge would be have less environmental impact since most of the work would be done off site and out of the river.

However, local contractors would likely not be used during construction because segments of the bridge would be cast elsewhere and most likely delivered to the Broad Avenue location when completed.

A handout package will be given to attendees of the open house which will include a project description, location map and comment card.

Ford said GDOT welcomes any comments and a court reporter will be available for those persons who would like to make a verbal statement about the project.

Written comments can also be sent in through the mail to GDOT offices in Atlanta or made online at www.dot.ga.gov. All comments will be made a part of the project record.

For those unable to make this afternoon's open house, the displays and plans will be available for review to the public until May 9 at the GDOT District Four, Area Five office at 2060 Newton Road.