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BOC approves repairs for two local bridges
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved repairs to two county bridges, which cross Cornish Creek and Gum Creek, at their Tuesday night meeting.

The Alcovy Road Bridge, which crosses Cornish Creek, will receive a full deck repair as the concrete deck of the bridge is in very serious deterioration and the bridge is in jeopardy of its interior steel becoming ruined by water intrusion according to an engineering department memo on the matter.

Repairs to the Dial Mill Road Bridge, which crosses Gum Creek, will reinforce the pilings under the bridge exposed by stream waters over time according to the memo.

Repairs to the Alcovy Road Bridge will require the closure of Alcovy Road for approximately four months while repairs to the Dial Mill Road Bridge will not require any road closure.

County Engineer Kevin Walter estimated that there would be five-mile detour around the Alcovy Road Bridge repairs but said it was cheaper in the long run to close the road and would also be safer for the construction workers. Detour signs will be posted in the coming weeks.

 Tanner Construction Inc. was granted the bridge repair contract by the BOC after entering the lowest bid at $562,097 for the project. According to the memo, in 2006 the BOC determined the project to be a priority one project under the County's 10-year capital improvement program for transportation projects.

Because of the expense of each bridge repair project, Walter said the county can only fund repairs to one or two bridges a year. There are 24 bridges in Newton County which the county government has the responsibility of maintaining. Many of them are between 30 and 50 years old. Depending on how well it is maintained, the average life of a bridge is between 30 and 75 years according to Walter.

The repair work for the projects will be funded by the special purpose local option sales tax.

PBS&J will serve as transportation consultants for the project. The firm will assist in the daily inspection of the work on the bridges and will verify quantities of construction materials to assist in billing approval. PBS&J will be paid $56,657 for their work on the project.

In other BOC news:

The board approved a $34,584 task order to PBS&J for construction management of the resurfacing of approximately 1.5 miles of the Old Atlanta Highway from Covington city limits to Interstate 20. PBS&J will be assisting the county in the preparation of specifications, bidding and contractor selection according to an engineering department memo on the matter.

• The project will include the design of special reinforcing using Gilsonite at the Cook Road and Old Oxford Road intersection which has become rutted as a result of heavy truck traffic.