The Back River Bridge project will replace the existing, narrow 59-year-old span with a significantly wider bridge featuring 8-ft. (2.4 m) shoulders in each direction.
Two major Coastal Georgia mobility projects — a long-anticipated new Back River Bridge between Savannah and South Carolina and the widening of a portion of the Golden Isles Parkway at Brunswick — along with $15 million of interstate highway resurfacings in northwest Georgia are among 19 infrastructure improvement projects announced April 5 by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The Back River Bridge project — on the U.S. Highway 17/State Route 404 Spur crossing from Hutchinson Island to South Carolina just north of Savannah — will replace the existing, narrow 59-year-old span with a significantly wider bridge featuring 8-ft. (2.4 m) shoulders in each direction. Shoulder lanes will allow for faster clearance of breakdowns and incidents, which now often require closing the entire bridge. Some 19,000 vehicles utilize the bridge each day and that number is expected to increase to as many as 35,000 in coming years.
The new structure will be built by Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., of Fleming Island, Fla., at a cost of $14.4 million. Federal funds will cover 80 percent of the project’s cost; Georgia and South Carolina will proportionally share the remainder.
The existing bridge will remain in service until the new structure opens, scheduled to occur by January 2016.
“The department is pleased to be moving forward with the construction of this new bridge; it is needed now and will be needed even moreso as Savannah and Chatham County continue to grow and prosper,” said Karon Ivery, GA DOT’s district five engineer responsible for the coastal area.
Among other new projects announced are:
• A $7.9 million widening and extension of 2 mi. (3.2 km) of the Golden Isles Parkway/State Route 25 Spur just west of Interstate Highway 95 at Brunswick from one lane in each direction to two. Plant Improvement Co. Inc., of Brunswick, Ga., will perform the work, which also includes reconstruction of the new route’s intersection with State Route 99. Construction should begin this summer and is scheduled for completion in January 2015;
• Two contracts for resurfacing nearly 16 mi. (25.7 km) of Interstate Highways 59 and 24 in Dade County. Both jobs, valued at a total of $14.8 million, will be done by C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc., of Marietta, Ga. Work is to be complete on both by next March; and
• A $1.1 million safety and mobility improvement project in Columbia County — the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Wrightsboro Road/State Route 223 and Appling-Harlem Road/U.S. Highway 221/State Route 47. Pittman Construction Company, of Conyers, Ga., is the contractor; completion is scheduled for next March.
For more information, visit www.dot.ga.gov.