AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – New life may be coming for an old Augusta bridge.

Thousands of travelers make their way across the Savannah River by driving over the 13th Street Bridge. Now the Georgia Department of Transportation is proposing a near $57 million project to build a new one.

Public comment is open. GDOT wants to know what you would like to see and experience while crossing a new two-state connector.

“Definitely still safe to drive on. It’s just an older bridge. Design elements and engineering have changed a lot since 1939 when it was initially built,” said GDOT’s Kyle Collins.

The 13th Street Bridge was widened in the early 90s but now traffic engineers with GDOT say it’s time to go bigger. The plan is to build a four-lane bridge with an eight-foot median including a four-foot raised island/median.

Collins explained, “There’s also going to be a multi-use path on the opposite side. So if you’re headed from Georgia into South Carolina, what would be your right side or east side of the bridge, would be sidewalk. And if you’re coming from South Carolina into Georgia, what would be the to your right, if you’re traveling in a vehicle that way, that would be a 10 foot, multiuse facility.”

GDOT hopes to connect the new 13th Street Bridge to existing trail systems.

“The Greeneway on the South Carolina side. You got Augusta Canal, Heritage Trail area, also I believe Bartram Trail, so that’ll be connection points,” said Collins.

Staff with GDOT have been meeting with local groups and leaders over the past two years, figuring out what could and should be built, according to Collins.

He said, “Folks in Augusta and North Augusta wanted bike path connectivity, some visual elements which we’ve been able to incorporate so that’s all from local input.”

It’s intended to keep the current 13th Street Bridge open with limited traffic while construction for the new one is underway.

“On the tentative schedule we have now by summer 2024 folks will start seeing some crews on sight, some of the impacts begin,” said Collins.

To give GDOT your opinion on what you would like to see the new 13th Street Bridge as, click or tap here.