Open House on Stephens Co. Bridge Project Set for Thursday

Georgia Department of Transportation officials will be in Toccoa Thursday for an open house to discuss a planned bridge project in Stephens County.

The DOT will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the historic Stephens County Courthouse in downtown Toccoa to discuss the planned replacement of the State Route 184/Prather Bridge Road Bridge over Toccoa Creek and the accompanying detour that will be necessary.

DOT Spokesperson Teri Pope said this particular bridge on State about 3.5 miles northeast of Toccoa on Prather Bridge Road, is in need of work.

“Every year, Georgia DOT evaluates bridges on our state routes and interstates,” said Pope.  “Based on that review, we need to do work on the State Route 184 Bridge.”

Pope added that the current bridge was built back in 1940 and does not meet current design standards.

“It does not have any shoulders,” said Pope.  “If you were to run out of gas, there is nowhere to get out of the travel lane.”

As a result, the DOT is building a new bridge that will be the same length, but wider thanks to 8 foot wide shoulders on both sides of the bridge.

Pope said the DOT plans to build a completely new bridge in the same spot where the current bridge sits.

“We are going to close the road and demolish the bridge and build a new bridge right there in its place,” said Pope.  “Doing it this way will allow us to build the bridge about twice as fast as normal and we will save about $500,000.”

While the bridge is built and the road is closed, the proposed detour of nearly 5.5 miles would take drivers heading north from State Route 184 to Highview Road, then to Old Rothell Road and eventually onto Camp Mikell Road before getting back onto State Route 184.

It would be the opposite for drivers heading south on State Route 184.

Pope said Thursday’s meeting will give people a chance to ask questions and offer input about what the DOT is proposing.

“We will have information there that shows the detour route and the bridge’s overall plan and we will have the designers and the engineers there to be able to answer questions and share our plan with folks.”

Pope said there would be no formal presentation.

“We want to come to the community and let them know what our plan is and get input on our plan,” said Pope.