COVINGTON, Ga. — A contractor will close the Access Road bridge over the Yellow River in Covington beginning Monday, Oct. 18, and keep it closed for more than nine months for replacement of the 84-year-old structure.
Through traffic on Access Road will be detoured onto I-20 during construction, GDOT announced in a news release.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office also advised motorists about other alternate routes around the closure, which is located east of Almon Road.
Alternate routes will be marked with detour signs, said Sgt. Jack Redlinger of the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
The closure only affects the Access Road bridge and not the nearby I-20 bridge over the Yellow River, Redlinger said.
"Local traffic will still have access up to the work zone. All business or residential driveways shall be maintained during construction," the GDOT release stated.
In addition to the I-20 detour, the sheriff's office said an alternate route for eastbound traffic toward Covington is Crowell Road south to Brown Bridge Road and turning left to go to Turner Lake Road.
To gain access to the west side of the bridge, motorists can travel north on Almon Road, east on Mt. Tabor Road, south on Cook Road, west on Old Atlanta Highway, and then south on Old Oxford Road.
"All travelers should avoid the area as it will be congested," the sheriff's office advised on its Facebook page. "We advise all travelers to begin utilizing the above alternate routes prior to the closure of the bridge."
Tucker-based Georgia Bridge and Concrete is building the $3.065 million project, which is near the I-20 Exit 88 interchange. It will require a 270-day — about nine months — closure, a GDOT spokesman said.
Reconstruction work will begin approximately 550 feet west of the existing bridge and extends east 550 feet for about a quarter of a mile.
As proposed, the 320-foot long by 43-foot wide bridge includes two walls along the approaches south of the road to minimize impacts to a river pump station and nearby mobile home community.
Access Road is a major east-west route between downtown Covington and western Newton County and Conyers — carrying more than 9,000 vehicles per day.
The existing bridge, built in 1937, is "structurally deficient" and must be replaced, the release stated.
The federal government classifies a bridge as “structurally deficient” if either the deck, superstructure, substructure or culvert are rated as being in poor or worse condition, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
Completion is expected in fall 2022.
The public will be notified of any changes to the bridge closure, it stated. For more information, call Redlinger at 678-300-7877.