The$1,769,641 project has a one-year deadline and has been awarded to contractor Talley Construction of Rossville. If weather and conditions are favorable, it could be concluded in July 2013, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The bridge, along with some roadway, will be replaced, totaling 0.236 miles in length.
Locals will have to contend with the inconvenience of an 8.5-mile detour, which will divert traffic along Ga. 341 (at Ga. 136 intersection), south toward Ga. 193. Motorists will then turn right onto Ga. 193 and head northwest to complete the detour, which will add nearly five miles to the usual trip of 3.7 miles along Ga. 136.
Concern over the closure
“It will just be an inconvenience, that’s all,” said Jackie Lawson, who lives in the closest home west of the bridge, on Kensington Road.
Lawson will loose a portion of his front yard, as Kensington Road will be moved 20 feet to straighten the road and add a turn lane, Lawson said.
He was told about the bridge and road improvement project in February 2011.
“I noticed that the state has come out and done some repair work on it over the years,” Lawson said. “It has problems with the entrance and exit areas.”
The concern by other residents is the increase in traffic along Ga. 193, another single-lane highway.
The bridge project has been delayed for six months as high-voltage electrical lines and towers are currently being moved to allow GDOT crews to use cranes in the bridge replacement, according to GDOT.
No businesses are in the immediate area of the project; however one business owner does have concerns for her potential loss of revenue.
Cindy Daniels owns the Crossroads Restaurant (established 2007) at the intersection of Ga. 193 and Ga. 136 in Chickamauga.
The planned detour will still bring commuter and travelers past her establishment, but she still anticipates a significant impact due to the bridge closure.
“It’s going to be a nightmare. We have all dreaded this out here,” Daniels said, having known the bridge would be replaced for a few years.
“We understand that the closure of state route 136 at that location may cause some inconvenience to the traveling public,” said DeWayne Comer, district engineer at the Georgia DOT office in Cartersville. “But it is necessary for replacing the bridge over Chickamauga Creek as quickly as possible, relocating Kensington Road, reconstructing the bridge approaches and giving the 136 highway back to the traveling public.”
Daniels travels to LaFayette twice daily on errands (both business and personal), which will add nearly 20 miles to her daily routine.
“We do have some customers on the other side of the bridge, that we will probably lose a lot of those,” Daniels said.
She is understanding of the necessity for the project, but saddened by the potential loss of daily regulars who are on a first-name basis.