Improvements to an east Cobb bridge and a nearby intersection could be given the go-ahead by county commissioners Tuesday night to the tune of nearly $1.3 million.
The bridge on Casteel Road that crosses over Piney Grove Creek — previously identified as Sewell Creek — was built in 1962. The county’s 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax plan earmarked $1.5 million to replace it.
Beyond its age, the bridge is being sought for replacement due to its sufficiency rating, says Erica Parish, deputy director of the Cobb Department of Transportation. Bridges are inspected bi-annually by the Georgia Department of Transportation and assigned sufficiency ratings from 0 to 100 based on their structural, operational, and functional attributes. During its last GDOT inspection, which Parish said she believed occurred in fall 2016, the bridge received a rating of 47.
“Bridges with low sufficiency ratings require greater attention. Eventually, low sufficiency bridges will continue to deteriorate and be posted with lower and lower weight restrictions until, at some point, they will have to be closed,” Parish said.
The county’s transportation department is proposing a full replacement of the substandard bridge, as well as improvements to operational aspects of Casteel Road’s intersection with Bill Murdock Road and Oak Lane, which is almost immediately next to the creek the bridge will cross.
While the existing bridge is narrow with no pedestrian provisions, its replacement would include 11-foot travel lanes in each direction and a 7-foot shoulder consisting of a 1.5-foot offset, a 5.5-foot sidewalk and barrier, Parish said.
If approved by commissioners, the county would contract with Tidwell Construction Company of Douglasville for the work at a cost of $1,277,458.
In other business, commissioners will consider approving:
* The $1-million-plus purchase of heavy equipment to be used by the Cobb Department of Transportation’s road maintenance and traffic operations divisions for daily and emergency operations. Equipment to be purchased would include pickup trucks, a tractor, wheel loader and backhoe.
The purchases will replace 10 pieces of heavy equipment that are considered in poor condition based on age, hours or miles of use and frequency of required repairs, with the newest equipment to be replaced from 2005 and the oldest dating back to 1991.
* The creation of seven communication officer II positions for the county’s Emergency Communications Department. The seven jobs’ total salary and benefits would have an estimated full-year cost of $493,427 beginning in fiscal 2019, while the estimated funding needed for the remainder of the current fiscal year is nearly $189,000 and would be absorbed in the current budget, according to county documents.
* Acceptance of a $5,000 donation from Cobb-based Superior Plumbing to cover adoption fees for local veterans. It would represent the second year the company has donated $5,000 toward its “Superior Pets for Patriotic Vets” initiative, and allow an additional 50 veterans to adopt shelter animals at no charge.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider these matters at their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Cobb Government Building.