Athens Bridge Causes Slower Speeds

  • The bridge on College Station Road will be rebuilt within the next two years starting in April.
  • The speed limit before the bridge has been lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph.
  • 12 out of 15 locals in the surrounding area were not aware there was a change in the speed limit.

ATHENS, GA- A local bridge in Athens is being re-built, requiring the speed limit to be reduced. Reporter Paula Rotondo found out how a bridge can affect how fast you can drive.

The bridge on College Station Road in Athens is is going to be re-built, causing the speed limit to be lowered. Athens traffic engineer Steve Decker says the state law requires the speed limit to be lower than its previous speed of 45 mph, dropping it to 35.

Decker says, “The design speed for that bridge dictates the speed limit on that roadway, so the design speed is 35.”

Despite the fact that the new speed limit has been in place for 9 days, many locals in the surrounding area said they haven’t noticed the change quite yet. Local and Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Hal Beaver says he had no idea the road was undergoing changes, despite the fact that he works right across the street from it.

“I did not know that the speed limit changed, but they need to look maybe at a new type of bridge or structure that would accommodate a 45 mph speed limit like it currently is,” Beaver said.

Traffic Engineer Decker says that even though the change has taken place, he didn’t want to reduce the speed limit, but they will be letting people know that construction is underway before they actually start rebuilding. Decker said, “We did not want to lower the speed limit but we had no choice. There will be variable message boards put up stating what’s going to happen.”

Construction on the new bridge begins in April and should take about two years and millions of federal dollars to replace this 30-year-old bridge. So in the coming years, make sure you ease off of the gas on College Station road



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