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Crews scrambling to get Boxwood Boulevard open in time for school

Ready for a detour? Here’s what you need to know about a bridge replacement project that begins May 1.

Commuters using Boxwood Blvd in Columbus will face a detour in their daily drive beginning May 1. Contractors are expected to begin Tuesday a five month long project to remove the current bridge over Lindsey Creek and replace it with a new bridge.
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Commuters using Boxwood Blvd in Columbus will face a detour in their daily drive beginning May 1. Contractors are expected to begin Tuesday a five month long project to remove the current bridge over Lindsey Creek and replace it with a new bridge.

Plans were on schedule to finish the new bridge on Boxwood Boulevard before schools open Wednesday, but that was put in jeopardy with all the rainfall in Columbus last week.

Ryan Pruett, project engineer for the Columbus Consolidated Government, said the rails and paving on the $996,852 project would have been completed if it weren’t for the constant rainfall in the city. Crews were working on the project Saturday with a forecast for sunny days on Monday and Tuesday to finish the road.

The busy stretch of road between Boxwood Place and Midtown Drive has been closed since May 1. Traffic counts from the Georgia Department of Transportation show that 2,660 vehicles are on the street daily. The traffic and Columbus Public Library made it a priority when officials started the project but now schools are about to open. A similar bridge repair project on Melrose Drive between Clairmont Road and Dunbar Avenue started on June 4 but it won’t be completed until later this fall.

Bob Jeswald, a meteorologist for WRBL, said the strong southern front that hovered over the Chattahoochee Valley from the Gulf of Mexico last week is over. This week is expected to fall back into a more typical summer pattern with sunny mornings and afternoon pop up showers in the afternoon.

“It shouldn’t be encountering the same kind of system we were encountering last week,” Jeswald said. High temperatures are expected back in the 90s. To have that same weather pattern roll through this week would be bad, he said.

Pruett said crews are busy on the second project on Melrose Drive, moving utility lines. A big part of the $1.4 million project is relocating a 42-inch sewer and 20-inch water main.

If the weather is favorable, the project may be completed by November.

Getting Boxwood Boulevard open will be a relief for residents in a crunch to save time in the neighborhood. The city of Columbus ended the month of July with 5 inches of rainfall in Columbus and 34 for the year.

While the rainfall may have put a strain on some the key project, Jeswald said there is some good news for the region. “We are well over the drought conditions,” he said. “We are not in any drought period now. Rainfall for the year has been rather consistent.”

If you’ve seen something that needs attention, give me a call at 706-571-8576.

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