Ledger-Inquirer: Finally, the slick surface of the covered bridge is gone

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 25, 2013 

We're out on the Chattahoochee RiverWalk this week with glad tidings to report. Yes, there has been significant progress on the linear park's so-called covered bridge.

As you will no doubt recall, we have repeatedly reported on the dangerous conditions that existed on the bridge. It was constantly wet, held puddles of water because it had no drainage, and because its decking is pressure-treated pine, it developed mold and mildew in the dank conditions.

As anyone who has ever owned a pressure-treated deck knows, that combination is as slick as ice.

Bicyclists and even runners were falling and some were being injured, at least one of them pretty badly.

We first reported the problem on June 6, and the city's engineering department went to work on devising a plan. That took a while, but the city was looking for a long-term fix, so the dangerous conditions wouldn't return.

They announced in mid-July that they'd devised a plan and were set to start work. The plan was to clean the beejeebers out of the surface, drill weep holes and cover it with a non-skid surface. They said it'd take four to six weeks. Great.

But along came the epic rains we've seen lately, which have delayed just about every project in the city, including the bridge, apparently. Because as of two weeks ago, the bridge was as slick and damp as ever.

Not anymore.

I don't know what they sprayed the surface with, but as of this weekend, you'd find more mold and mildew on your average bachelor's bathtub than on the bridge.

And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of weep holes drilled through the surface.

The non-skid epoxy surface hasn't been put down, and I hope it will be soon. But with just the thorough cleaning and the drainage, the dangerous slipperiness is gone.

I saw more than a few cyclists using it this weekend, and nary a face was planted.

While we're out on the RiverWalk, let's visit a mysterious occurrence that was reported farther to the south on the sewage treatment plant road. That's not what the cyclists call it, but I can't publish that particular nickname in a family newspaper.

Near the north end of the road, next to a water fountain popular with RiverWalk users, three large hardwoods have collapsed into a ditch. It appears that erosion might have felled them, but there are heavy equipment tracks on the flat ground next to where they stood and some serious scarring on the bark.

It looks like they might have been knocked into the ravine instead of just falling.

What's up, Water Works?

-- Seen something that needs work? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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