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Why GDOT wants to replace Ga. 136 bridge at Hall-Dawson County line
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The Price Road/Ga. 136 bridge at the Hall-Dawson County line needs to be replaced, according to a GDOT environmental study. The bridge has a deteriorated driving surface, exposed rebar and other issues. - photo by Scott Rogers

A 64-year-old bridge at the Hall-Dawson County line is being eyed for replacement, with the state describing the structure as “functionally obsolete due to the narrow deck width.”

A recent Georgia Department of Transportation environmental report about the bridge on Price Road/Ga. 136 says the deck has “severe cracking and (areas) with exposed rebar.”

Also, “the bridge is classified as having an unknown foundation and therefore could be at risk for scour,” or sediment erosion around the base of the bridge.

“Replacement of this bridge is recommended,” the report says.

“Once we have environmental approval, we will begin purchasing right of way, including obtaining permits from (the Army Corps of Engineers),” district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said in a recent email.

The bridge crosses the Chestatee River north of Toto Creek Park and serves as a key artery for northwest Hall County motorists trying to reach Ga. 400 in Dawson. Chestatee River flows into Lake Lanier.

The structure is scheduled to be replaced, according to the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, which serves as the main transportation planning agency for the Hall County area.

Construction is set to take place in 2021 and estimated to cost $6.1 million, according to the agency’s website.

“This project currently has an award to contractor date of May 2021,” Strickland said.

It will realign Ga. 136 to south of the existing bridge, so motorists will be able to use the existing bridge until the new one is built.

The bridge is one in a long line of aging crossings over rivers feeding into Lake Lanier that are being replaced, with the DOT recently opening the new Longstreet Bridge and planning to open the new Browns Bridge in April.

The DOT is looking at replacing another Ga. 136 bridge — one farther west over Toto Creek in Dawson County. The new bridge is funded for 2024, according to the DOT.

The existing bridge, which was built in 1956, would be closed during construction, with the new bridge built in its place. A 15-month detour involving Henry Grady Highway would take place.