COVINGTON — The Georgia Department of Transportation said Thursday that the closure date for the Access Road bridge over the Yellow River has been delayed and will not be Sept. 20.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that the bridge would close for reconstruction on Sept. 20 and issued guidelines on alternate routes. However, according to the DOT, due to some delays, “GDOT and the contractor have not agreed on a firm date to close this bridge for the expected 10-month period. Originally it was Sept. 7 before delays occurred.” GDOT said the delay is due to some utility work that needs to be completed before before bridge work can begin.

GDOT said it will issue official communication on the bridge closure as soon as it is finalized, which should come seven days ahead of the start.

Georgia Bridge and Concrete was awarded a $3.065 million contract in May to reconstruct the bridge and approaches on Access Road, which is called Frontage Road by GDOT. The bridge replacement is part of the I-20 — Almon Road interchange area project.

Access Road is a major east-west route to and from downtown Covington, carrying over 9,000 vehicles per day. According to GDOT, the existing bridge, built in 1937, is structurally deficient and must be replaced. Raising the roadway profile to meet design standards mandated a closure, since an on-site option would impact the I-20 alignment, the river, a pump station and Riverside mobile home park.

The proposed project begins approximately 550 feet west of the existing bridge and extends east 550 feet for 0.27 miles. As proposed, the 320-foot-long by 43.25-foot-wide bridge includes two walls along the approaches south of the road to minimize impacts to the pump station and mobile home park.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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