If you ever drive out Reese Road, get off your cellphone and don’t get distracted before you cross the narrow bridge just west of Bonnie Drive.
A resident who lives in the area and uses the Columbus road weekly noted that westbound traffic faces a low shoulder and no guardrails if you run off the road. Eastbound traffic has an open ditch running along the sidewalk and roadway.
The area hasn’t been forgotten by the Columbus Consolidated Government when it comes to bridge repairs and a section of the roadway.
Ryan Pruett, a project engineer in the city’s Planning Department, said an engineering consultant is already looking at a concept to start the process of replacing the bridge.
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Work on the bridge will also consider improving the stretch along the two-lane road. “I know they are taking a look at it and getting that ball rolling,” he said.
Donna Newman, director of the Engineering Department, said the bridge has no restrictions on it based on past inspections. “It is the width that is the issue,” she said.
The lack of shoulders also is a concern. “That’s part of what we’re doing,” she said Friday. “The consultant is looking at the structural components to see what the issues are. Is it better to do some widening, minor modifications to the structure or is it a total replace, repair or widen?”
The last bridge inspection showed the structure was in fair condition and had no significant structural issues, Newman said.
Old bridges with significant structural problems can create issues for motorists who depend on the roadway. Before it closed in March 2013, the Brown Avenue Bridge was closed to heavy trucks and school buses due to structural problems. The bridge reopened in March 2015 after $5.6 million worth of construction over the railroad tracks.
The bridge on Reese Road is not in that kind of shape yet but some repairs can make a world of difference.
If you’ve seen something that needs some attention, give me a call.