Flat Shoals Creek Bridge delayed until November but Polecat Creek Bridge expected early

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners recently received an update on the three ongoing bridge construction projects at Polecat Creek, Long Cane Creek and Flat Shoals Creek.

County Engineer James Emery provided an update on all three bridges as well as their estimated completion dates at the commissioner’s meeting on Aug. 15.


Polecat Creek Bridge

The Tucker Road Bridge at Polecat Creek is the only county road (CR 179) of the trio of bridges. The bridge is located approximately 8.5 miles southeast of LaGrange and was originally constructed in 1965.

Emery said the demolition of the old Tucker Road bridge has been completed. The former bridge was multi-span and will be replaced with a new 90-foot single-span bridge.

“It’s bridge design that we really prefer. It’s a very efficient design. It’s easy to maintain. It’s got a good ride quality because you have asphalt all the way across the bridge,” Emery said.

A bid was awarded to CW Matthews at $1,877,000, who officially began the project on May 30. The current estimated completion date is March 31, 2024.

“It’s running on schedule and we’re expecting actually a road opening earlier than the final completion date,” Emery said.


Long Cane Creek Bridge

The bridge on Hamilton Road at Long Cane Creek is a state route bridge (US 27), so the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is overseeing the project. The bridge is located near the Troup County Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Department Administration Building.

Emery said traffic has already been slightly detoured onto a temporary bridge that has been completed adjacent to the original bridge.

“Fortunately, there are no road closures here at this location. There are no road closures allowed, so that’s the purpose of the on-sight detour bridge,” Emery said.

GDOT plans to replace the former 120-foot, two-lane bridge, with a new 150-foot, two-lane bridge. Plans for the new bridge call for 12-foot lanes and eight-foot outside shoulders.

Emery said that GDOT chose to construct a temporary bridge, demolish the original bridge and build a new permanent replacement rather than building one new permanent bridge for several reasons.

“Given the road is on a straight-line tangent, it was more desirable to construct the project on existing alignment,” Emery said. “The alignment change needed for a temporary on-site detour did not have to meet the same requirements as those for a permanent re-alignment, for both the bridge opening and elevation and roadway geometry which allowed for a smaller overall footprint for the project.”

Using the temporary bridge also minimizes the impact on the surrounding wetlands.

Emery said building the detour to the north of the original bridge eliminated potential conflicts with the nearby sewer pump station and limits the amount of work done within the creek.

The estimated completion date for the permanent bridge is Oct. 31, 2023, but Emery said the manager for the project expects the completion date to be pushed further as they are running behind.


Flat Shoals Creek Bridge

The final bridge at Flat Shoals Creek is the biggest project of the three bridge replacements and the second bridge replacement on Hamilton Road (US 27). The bridge is located south of Smokey Rd. and north of Hagler Rd.

Unlike Long Cane Creek, the road’s bridge on Flat Shoal has been closed and uses an offsite detour through Interstate 185 and State Route 18 as the official detour.

The new bridge is a three-span bridge with a 50-foot span, a 150-foot span and then an 85-foot span for a total of 235 feet.

Emery said the project was let to construction to CW Matthews in March 2022. The original expected completion date was March 31, 2023. However, that bridge was delayed related to Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens.

The current expected completion date is Nov. 12, 2023.