By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 12, 2019
ECHOLS COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Big changes could be headed to a popular South Georgia highway.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is looking to replace the Highway 376 bridge over the Apalahoochee River. The bridge is a popular route for travelers between Statenville and Lake Park.
Officials said the bridge is more than 60 years old, and many nearby homeowners said it's busy with cars and trucks all hours of the day.
The project calls for a detour while it's being constructed, which GDOT officials said could take one year. Many nearby homeowners said the project is worth the extra miles.
Leon Stewart has lived nearby for 50 years, and said the bridge is overdue for repairs.
"It's still the same as it was when I first went over it," Stewart said. "We have so many detours around so I don't [mind]. Other people may have, but I don't have an issue about it."
Georgia DOT is proposing to close the bridge and replace it, calling the structure functionally obsolete.
The new bridge is expected to cost about $5.5 million. It's expected to go out for bid next year.
Officials will be holding a public open house March 21 at the Statenville library. Public comment, as well as more information on the project, can be made on the GDOT website.