Houston & Peach

Three Houston bridges scheduled for replacement

The Courtney Hodges Boulevard bridge over Big Indian Creek in Perry is slated for replacement in fiscal 2022.
The Courtney Hodges Boulevard bridge over Big Indian Creek in Perry is slated for replacement in fiscal 2022. wcrenshaw@macon.com

Three bridges on busy roads in Houston County are slated for replacement, but two of those projects won’t happen for a while.

The bridges are in the Transportation Improvement Program document that is open for public review. Inclusion in the plan means the projects are approved to get done, said Jessica Bird, transportation planner for Warner Robins.

The bridges are not in Warner Robins but Bird is the lead agent of the Warner Robins Area Transportation Study, which is not actually a “study” but the designation for the transportation planning area. The area includes all of Houston County and all of Byron in Peach County. The area also includes Robins Air Force Base.

The Transportation Improvement Program includes replacement of bridges on Ga. 247 south of Kathleen, Courtney Hodges Boulevard in Perry and U.S. 41 at Flat Creek.

The Ga. 247 project is slated to start sometime in fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. The bridge is at Big Indian Creek and the design calls for traffic to use a temporary bridge on the western side, according to an email from Kimberly Larson, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Construction of the other two bridges is scheduled for 2022, and the designs haven’t been done so traffic plans for those have not been set. The DOT prefers complete closure because that incurs the least cost, Larson said, but she added that “with good reason” on-site detours will be considered for those two bridges as well.

Courtney Hodges Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in Perry connecting downtown to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. Chad McMurrian, lead engineering technician for the city of Perry, said complete closure of the Courtney Hodges bridge, which is also at Big Indian Creek, would be a major traffic issue for the city. He said there is no good traffic alternative and the city has requested that the DOT put in a temporary bridge while the new bridge is constructed. Design for that project is slated for fiscal 2018 and a public hearing will be held.

The Transportation Improvement Program specifies projects to be completed over the next four fiscal years. The document is available for review and public comment through May. It can be seen at the Warner Robins City Hall annex, the Houston County annex, Centerville City Hall, Byron City Hall and Perry City Hall. It can also be viewed at www.wrga.gov/index.aspx?NID=297.

Comments will be accepted through May 30 and can be mailed to City of Warner Robins c/o WRATS, 202 N. Davis Drive, PMB 718, Warner Robins, GA, 31093.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1