Political Notebook

Bibb road project price could drop considerably based on how steel beams are moved

Macon officials received some good news about cost of east Bibb road project

The cost of raising a Jeffersonville Road bridge could drop significantly with an alternative construction method.
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The cost of raising a Jeffersonville Road bridge could drop significantly with an alternative construction method.

There’s some positive news for a Jeffersonville Road project that’s been more than 20 years in the making.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert says the price could drop significantly by using a different way to raise the Walnut Creek bridge.

Reichert met last week the project’s designers and Georgia Power and Georgia Department of Transportation representatives. The meeting was an opportunity find a solution after transmission line relocation was going to cost the county an additional about $1.7 million.

But by not using cranes while working on the bridge, the county may only need to contribute about $200,000 (rough estimate) for that part of the project, Reichert said.

The county is now waiting to find out of if GDOT will absorb those construction costs or if Macon-Bibb will need to find the money. The project would still need to be bid out to find the exact costs and both methods of construction could be options, the mayor said.

“Georgia Power said if the bridge over Walnut Creek magically appeared as it is currently designed — six feet elevation difference — there would still be sufficient distance between the (bridge) and power lines,” Reichert said at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. “The problems is in construction. They anticipate bringing a crane and swinging the crane boom out to put steel girders in place over the creek. The crane would interfere with the clearance and (Georgia Power) can’t de-energize the lines for any extended period of time.”

But that problem could be resolved by sliding the steel beams instead of lifting them with a crane, the mayor said.

The first phase would widen Jeffersonville Road from Emery Highway to Recreation Road. Rough stretches of Jeffersonville will also be freshly paved and the Walnut Creek bridge will raise about six feet in order to get it out of a flood plain.

Once completed, the enhanced Jeffersonville Road will be able to better handle more traffic and with a new sidewalk and multiuse path safety will also be improved.

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph