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Bridge closed near Meansville

By Kay S. Pedrotti The Potato Creek bridge on Piedmont Road could be closed for several months for repairs, Lamar County officials said. The bridge will be closed about a mile from the Pike County line. A recent Georgia Department of Transportation inspection determined the bridge had suffered additional damage since its last inspection in 2009 and is unsafe for traffic, said county manager Bob Zellner. An estimated $80,000 for the repairs might not be the final amount. The Piedmont Road bridge is the last of a series of bridge projects costing more than $600,000 funded by SPLOST collections and state funds. The other bridges are on Ruffner, Camp and Van Buren roads and have been completed. Planned improvements to an Ethridge Mill bridge were not needed, Zellner said. Zellner, public works director James Rigdon and Roy H. Jump Jr., vice president of C.W. Matthews Contracting, looked at the bridge last week after it had been closed to traffic with large rock-and-soil berms at either end. Local residents who normally travel the route are using Allen Road or Ruffner Road as a detour, Zellner said. Jump said the bridge appeared to have ‘been doing some shaking,’ possibly as a result of last April’s EF3 tornado. Pylons and timbers are rotting and some joints are in need of replacement. Since the damage is more extensive than when CWM submitted its bid for fixing the bridge, costs and downtime may increase, Jump said.

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