Mount Vernon Highway Bridge Construction to Be Accelerated by Georgia DOT

Oct. 5, 2023
According to Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, the construction will take many months to complete

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will accelerate construction of the new Mount Vernon Highway bridge, but according to Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, it still will take many months to complete.

On Sept. 27, a tractor trailer hit a support column on the existing bridge, resulting in the structure to be closed. After GDOT inspected it, the agency decided it was too damaged to reopen.

“We had a truck driver who took a million-dollar piece of equipment, turned it into a battering ram, and we’re left to pay the consequences for a while,” Paul said during the Oct. 3 city council meeting.

Repairing the old bridge couldn't be done. It would have taken six months to fabricate the steel at $3 million, eventually being torn down three months after as the replacement was completed.

“The best option is to accelerate construction of the bridge that was already under construction to the east of the current bridge,” Paul said.

GDOT commissioner Russell McMurry told the mayor delivery of the steel beams were key to fast-tracking the project.

Moving three water lines that run under the old bridge to the new one will also present a challenge, Paul said.

Challenges with the supply chain are still present, said Paul. Crews won’t be able to construct the new bridge as fast as repairs were made to the I-85 bridge that collapsed after a fire in 2017.

“They [GDOT] understand that this is a major arterial that carries a tremendous amount of traffic and that has had to be shifted to other roads such as River Valley, Heards Ferry, and Abernathy, which are experiencing unprecedented levels of congestion as a result,” Paul said.