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7 months of detours ahead as Kenwood bridge is replaced

Motorists on Kenwood Road north of Fayetteville will face about seven months of detours as a contractor will be replacing the bridge over Morning Creek.

The project will cost just shy of $1.4 million and is necessary because of problems with the existing bridge structure, county officials said. The low bidder on the project, McCarthy Improvement Company, was approved by the Fayette County Commission May 23.

The new bridge is longer, wider and higher than the existing bridge, all of which are necessary to meet current design standards for flood conditions and road geometry, according to county staff.

The bridge was originally built in 1972 and Kenwood Road has an average daily traffic volume of about 3,700 vehicles per day, according to county data.

The longest detour for the bridge is 1.7 miles and involves Longview and Bethea Roads along with Ga. Highway 314, according to Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon.

Mallon said the county had hoped to place a temporary traffic signal at Bethea Road and Hwy. 314, but the Georgia Department of Transportation determined it wasn’t feasible. That means that vehicles leaving Bethea Road may have a difficult left turn to go northbound on Hwy. 314, officials said.

The current bridge’s sufficiency rating is 17 on a scale of up to 100 with 100 being the best.

Commission Chairman Steve Brown noted that the closing will affect school traffic as well as churches and other facilities in the area.

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