AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Each day, thousands of people in the CSRA hit the road, traveling various streets and highways and over bridges. But, some may not notice what’s happening beneath the tires of their cars. A study by the National Transportation Research Group (TRIP) finds 25 percent of county-maintained roads in the CSRA are in “poor” condition, and 12 percent of bridges are “deficient.”
The 5th Street Bridge in downtown Augusta, which stretches across the Savannah River, is rated the worst by TRIP. It’s currently being converted into a pedestrian walkway.
“A lot of the top bridges, deemed structurally-deficient on that rating system in the report, are either under construction or have plans to have improvements made to them,” Kyle Collins, a GDOT district communications specialist, said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation heads most of the state’s road repair projects. It admits it’s difficult to tend to all bridges in the state, but its crews make it happen.
“There are about 14,000 bridge structures in the state of Georgia. GDOT provides inspection reports, whether it’s on a two or three year basis, on all those structures.”
Why are so many roads and bridges in need of repairs? Collins notes they were built decades ago when there were less people and different types of cars on the road.
“We’re slowly but surely, with the funding we have, replacing those and getting them up to modern design standards because typical vehicles and the needs and traffic volume on a lot of these roads are a lot different than they were in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.”
GDOT isn’t the only group tackling these issues. The city of Augusta asks the public to identify problems on the road with its MyAugusta311 app. People can log on and pinpoint exactly where a pothole is and alert the city.
“Let’s say there’s a pothole on a road,” Kelli Walker, the Augusta 311 manager, explains. “It goes to the engineering department. The engineering department acknowledges it. They assign the work and gather the appropriate resources, and it’s scheduled to be completed. The customer is able to track the process the entire way through. Once it’s closed out, they’ll receive a message that it has been completed.”