The Georgia Department of Transportation is inviting the public to a meeting to discuss a proposed bridge replacement and detour in Banks County next week.
The DOT has announced it will hold a public information open house detour meeting to discuss the proposed detour necessary for reconstruction of the State Route 59 bridge over the Grove River.
The open house is scheduled for Thursday, December 5 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Banks County Courthouse Annex located at 150 Hudson Street in Homer.
While there will not be a formal presentation, the DOT said the department’s engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project and detour details.
DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith said the purpose of the open house is to present the project and the detour route to the community.
Smith added that the DOT wants the public to know the status of the project and the detours that will occur during construction.
The existing State Route 59 bridge over the Grove River, which is about 6.5 miles southeast of Homer, was built in 1938 and the DOT says it does not meet current design standards.
The bridge is 280 feet long, 26 feet wide and does not have shoulders.
DOT officials said the new bridge will be 280 feet long and 40 feet wide featuring 12 feet wide lanes and 8 feet wide shoulders, with the shoulders allowing a safe place to move a vehicle out of the roadway if needed.
During construction, traffic will be routed from State Route 59 to State Route 15/U.S. Highway 441 to Interstate 85 to State Route 63 and back to State Route 59, a distance of 11.2 miles.
Officials with the DOT said that the detour will allow construction to move much faster and cost much less than if traffic continued to use the bridge while a parallel structure was built, adding that the total cost savings is over $870,000.
After the meeting, the public can view the displays of the project at the Georgia DOT District Office located on Athens Highway in Gainesville.
The plans will also be available online at the DOT website at www.dot.ga.gov.