Work to replace and widen the Powers Ferry Road bridge alongside Chastain Park will require a seven-month road closure starting in September, with preparatory work starting sooner.
The road, which is used by about 6,000 vehicles per day, is scheduled to be closed from September through April 2019. Crews will begin relocating utilities soon. The construction will be done on weekdays, said City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit.
The bridge was built in 1948, and due to its age, needs replacing, according to the city. The 105-foot-long bridge runs over Nancy Creek alongside the western border of Chastain Park.
The bridge will be widened from 35 to 46 feet to provide a shoulder between the travel lanes and a multiuse path.
The 10-foot-wide multiuse path on the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt. The PATH Foundation completed that section of the path in 2016, said Pete Pellegrini, the foundation’s executive director.
A temporary bridge will not be built to accommodate traffic during construction. Cars will instead be directed onto local roads around the park.
Matzigkeit said the area is fortunate to have two major roads running on either side of the project: Northside Drive on the west and Lake Forrest Drive.
“Will it inconvenience people? Absolutely. But we’re trying to make it the least inconvenient as possible,” he said.
The city’s request for proposals document shows the detour using local roads to the west of Powers Ferry, including Jett Road, Conway Drive, Northside Drive, Blackland Road and Putnam Drive.
The bridge construction has been known as needed for many years, District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit said.
“I believe this project came up when Clair Muller was a councilmember,” Matzigkeit said. Muller served on Atlanta City Council until 2008.
The bridge has been identified as “high-priority for replacement” since at least 2016.
The city held a public meeting on the project in 2016, complete with concept designs and renderings, but the project stalled.
The 2016 presentation showed repairs under the structure and damage where the bridge meets the road.
“There have been efforts to extend the life of the bridge through routine inspection and periodic maintenance. However, the bridge has neared the end of its life expectancy,” the presentation said.
The project has been awarded to Georgia Bridge and Concrete, which estimated it could complete the bridge for $2.4 million, according to the bidding document.
The project previously was bid out in 2017, but the city did not receive any qualified bids, said Michael Smith, a city spokesperson.
The city will host a meeting on May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chastain Horse Park, 4371 Powers Ferry Road.
The project timeline, including when the bridge will be removed and replaced, and the detours for vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be presented at the meeting.
“This is a big project with lots of moving parts,” Matzigkeit said.
Correction: A previous version of the story stated that construction will be done 24 hours a day. Construction will only be done during normal business hours, Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit’s office said.