Brookhaven, GA, March 22, 2017 – by Trey Benton – While there is still some work to be done to complete the project and open it back up to the public, the rotting portion of a pedestrian bridge in Brookhaven’s Ashford Park community, an approximate 17-foot section, was lifted in to place Wednesday. The approach was saved and will have its decking (boardwalk) replaced. The new wood/metal combo section will be “dressed” to match the previous construction as closely as possible.
Constructed in 2006, the original Ashford Park bridge that connects Camille Dr. with Valvedere Dr., has grown to be heavily used by walkers, bikers and the occasional golf cart. But because it was constructed on top of dirt, some of the wood underneath (on the Camille Dr. side) was found to be rotten – the bridge had dropped down some 4 inches.
C&D Engineers & Associates, LLC, a structural engineering firm, was called in to make a safety assessment. They advised the City the bridge was unsafe and therefore the City closed it down.
“I promised to be a bridge builder when I ran for office,” Mayor John Ernst told The Post. “But I meant a different kind of bridge when I made those statements. I didn’t think we would literally be replacing three bridges inside of a year, however, the safety of our residents must come first. We can’t have people using them if they are unsafe.”
Ernst said there was only one bridge that was actually planned to be replaced in the foreseeable future – the bridge at Briarwood Park. After a tree fell on the one along the Murphey Candler Park Nature Trail and part of the Ashford Park bridge was found to be rotting, it left the City with little choice.
While the City appropriated $175,000 for the Ashford Park bridge project, they were surprised when estimates came back around $75K. But, as good news is normally followed by bad, the project cost rose to $141,500 after it was discovered during a subsequent “pre-work” inspection, the footings for the bridge were also unsound, necessitating an additional $66K in expense to replace those as well.
The City says they expect the entire project to be completed ahead of the Brookhaven Bolt which will occur in May. The bridge was constructed and installed by Integrated Construction and Nobility, Inc.