Ledger Inquirer

Detour is a hassle, but it’s a good sign, too

Detour this week is a sign that work is moving ahead on the long-running Forrest Road bridge project.
Detour this week is a sign that work is moving ahead on the long-running Forrest Road bridge project. mowen@ledger-enquirer.com

Happy new year, Concerned Readers.

We'll kick off 2017 not by ringing in the new, but by wringing out the old.

I've gotten a few calls recently about the long-running saga of the Bull Creek Bridge on Forrest Road, which has been running longer than Cats on Broadway.

As it turns out, there is some progress to report, in the form of yet another detour, which is planned for Monday and Tuesday, but could last a bit longer.

Readers, especially those who drive along Forrest Road, will remember the long detour that signaled the beginning of the end of the Cooper Creek Bridge project just west of the Bull Creek project.

So early this week, all through traffic between Forrest Road and Lamour Street will be shut down so a contractor can install a large crane on the site to install the new bridge parts. As always, the detour will be marked, but if that’s part of your way to get to and from places you frequent, expect some difficulties.

There are a couple of reasons why this project has taken years to complete.

One, once contractors started tearing up the old bridge, they discovered a problem that caused the new bridge to be redesigned. That halted construction while engineers and the Water Works had to work together to make it work.

Then AT&T decided that, as long a they were going to be rerouting thousands of phone lines that ran under the bridge, they would upgrade from copper lines to fiber optic lines. That, it turned out, was more of a chore than anyone expected.

At one point last year, the city even called out AT&T at a council meeting. City Manager Isaiah Hugley told councilors he had met personally with AT&T reps and told them “they have got to do a better job.”

That meeting also produced one of my favorite quotes from AT&T spokesman Terry Smith, who was explaining that changing over to fiber optic was a job that takes time, regardless of how many people you put on it.

“One of our construction managers put it this way,” Smith said. “It takes nine months to have a baby. But you can’t get nine women together and have a baby in one month.”

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