The detour associated with the Northside Drive bridge replacement project, which was expected to be completed in 2020, is being delayed by a year, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). But the project is still expected to be completed on time.
Due to delays regarding a series of utility relocations that were required before construction could start, the new bridge’s opening has been pushed back from spring 2020 to spring 2021, a news release/update on the project stated. C.W. Matthews, the project’s contractor, informed GDOT of the need for that delay, GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said.
“We know that the existing pedestrian bridge carries significant utility facilities as well, so several months will be dedicated to ensuring all utilities are relocated and remain functional during the bridge construction,” the release stated regarding the bridge over Peachtree Creek. “The city of Atlanta’s water and sewer line work in the project area is also anticipated to continue through early 2020.”
In GDOT’s new project timeline, construction is expected to start in January, a 90-day construction detour will begin in spring 2021 and the project is supposed to be completed by August 2021.
“We understand your need to make travel adjustments related to this detour and commit to provide notice of the detour timeline well in advance, in addition to other project-related traffic impacts over the next two years,” the release stated.
Existing utilities in close proximity and on the existing Northside Drive bridge over Peachtree Creek need to be relocated prior to construction. Overhead and underground utility relocations are expected to be completed by December but exclude city of Atlanta water and sewer lines. Those water and sewer relocations/adjustments will be completed by C.W. Matthews in conjunction with the pedestrian bridge in the first quarter of 2020.
Utility work is being coordinated to ensure project completion time. There are two bridges being built for this project: the pedestrian bridge and the regular Northside Drive bridge for vehicles.
“The pedestrian bridge does carry significant utility facilities,” Dale said. “C.W. Matthews advised that in consideration of the utilities that need to be attached to the bridge, they would not be able to start the Northside bridge construction until 2021 — that is when the detour will be implemented. The detour schedule for the spring 2021 date is the information we are trying to communicate to the community.”
The bridge has been due for replacement for years.
“The type, size and depth of the bridge foundation is unknown and may be extremely susceptible to failure with deeper scouring of the stream bed,” GDOT previously stated regarding the bridge’s condition.