AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s enough to stop traffic with trucks hitting the Olive Road overpass, and now the city and the bridge owner, CSX, are sitting down to talk about what can be done.
“With having the right people at the table, we are at the point where we will have a conversation that will enhance the opportunity that will protect that bridge and protect our citizens from hitting the bridge.”
Some years ago, CSX suggested Augusta close the road near the bridge
“Then, that’s going to make a big detour for the people who work around here,” said Charlie Williams.
“You don’t want the road closed?”
“I don’t see it,” said Williams.
Mayor Garnett Johnson said closing the road is not on the table, but changing the bridge is.
Mayor Johnson says CSX is planning for work that would increase the height of the overpass, but not enough to really matter.
“No more than three inches. It’s a very minimal raise, but the reason for the raising of the bridge is to strengthen the bridge as I understand it. It also creates problems for them when that line is closed,” said Mayor Johnson.
The mayor says the discussions also include adding another warning device like a crossing arm or a padded pipe over the road at bridge height, like you see in parking garages.
“I promise you there will be a solution provided by CSX, one that is embraced by this community,” said the mayor.
But the community does understand that raising the bridge by three inches isn’t really going to help.
“Three feet maybe. Three feet: yes. Three inches: no,” said George Williams.
The mayor says CSX officials will be coming before commissioners at their first meeting in September to discuss plans to stop the hit parade at the overpass.