The Dillingham Street Bridge will be closed by the city of Columbus at 5:30 today, City Manager Isaiah Hugley said.
The closing comes as heavy rains have swollen the Chattahoochee River. As the waters have risen this week, hundreds of people have come to downtown to watch the river.
"People stopping on the bridge and getting out of their cars has created a public safety hazard," Hugley said. "This is not for structural reasons."
The reopening of the bridge will be evaluated Thursday morning, likely after rush-hour traffic. The bridge will still be open to foot traffic, but that is not encouraged, Hugley said.
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The city is also closing the entire Chattahoochee Riverwalk, a 15-mile path that runs from Lake Oliver to Fort Benning. Large portions of the riverwalk are under water.
City workers observed people riding bikes on the path Wednesday. Some of those people were riding into areas where the path was covered with water, creating a safety issue, Hugley said.
"We are encouraging people not to use it, if they do they are using it at their own risk," Hugley said. "Our responsibility is to warn them of the conditions."
The riverwalk could be closed for some time because once the waters recede, the path has to be cleaned and checked for structural damage. With more rain in the forecast, the city does not plan to start the cleaning process until next week, Hugley said.
The riverwalk is closed "until further notice," Hugley said.