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GDOT: South Lee Street bridge to be replaced at same elevation; meeting planned

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — A public meeting is scheduled for later this month concerning the replacement of the historic South Lee Street bridge. A letter was mailed to all stakeholders, among which is Calvary Episcopal Church, from Kimberly W. Nesbitt, state program delivery administrator with the Georgia Department of Transportation. The letter informs that a stakeholder meeting is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in the third-floor conference room of the Americus Municipal Building, downtown. Stakeholders are invited to drop in and review the alternative plan for the bridge and speak one-on-one with the project team. There will be no formal presentation. A Public Information Open House will be scheduled after the Stakeholder meeting to present the same information to the remainder of the public.
The topic of replacement of the Ga. Highway 377/Lee Street Railroad Bridge, which is in the heart of Americus’ historic district, has been bandied about for at least four years. The bridge was constructed in 1911, and rehabilitated in the early 2000s to accommodate piggy-back railcars.
Nesbitt’s letter says, “The GDOT … is proposing replacement of the historic bridge to accommodate for safety, as the bridge has a sufficiency rating of 52.5 out of 100 and is deemed structurally deficient.
“Following development of several potential concept alternatives, environmental field work, and completion of stakeholder interviews, GDOT has determined that the most appropriate course of action is to replace the bridge at its current elevation. This alternative will provide limited impacts to valued community resources. The design of the new bridge will also propose to construct a handrail and sidewalk that match the existing facilities. In addition, provisions will be made to remove, preserve and reinstall the existing gas lights located on the existing bridge.”
Nesbitt’s letter refers stakeholders to GDOT Project Manager, Derrick Cameron, at 404-631-1552 or dcameron@dot.ga.gov for  more  information.