By Greg Gullberg
August 21, 2013
Lowndes Co, GA / Madison Co, FL - Narrow lanes, out dated structure, and susceptible to flood waters. These are not characteristics you want to hear before driving over any bridge. And that's why a local bridge is being replaced.
The 72 year old "Withlacoochee River Bridge" joins Lowndes County, Georgia with Madison County, Florida. The new bridge is already taking shape just beside it.
"Traffic over time just causes vibrations in bridges and structures on any bridge or any road way and they just gradually deteriorate over time. And they need to be repaired but eventually every bridge just needs to be replaced," said Corey Hull, Lowndes Transportation Planner.
It's hard to imagine this bridge being swallowed by flood water, but that's exactly what officials say happened in 2009 when the Withlacoochee River swelled up to record levels.
But the new $5.4 million bridge will be taller, wider and longer. And it'll feel a lot less claustrophobic.
"Narrow bridges like that one that were constructed many decades ago do cause some tight situations when they have large semi's passing on it. The new bridge will address that by having wider lanes, wider shoulders, things like that," Hull said.
The bridge is a joint project between the Georgia and Florida Departments of Transportation. The current bridge will stay in place until the new one opens next august.