Q&A: What's going on with the 22 bridge past Walter B.?


Image courtesy of Google Earth

It's officially go-time for the Ga. 22 bridge replacement project near the Grumman/Vought/Triumph/Qarbon factory past Walter B. Williams Jr. Park.

The existing bridge is one of roughly a half-dozen around Baldwin County that was built prior to 1960, and the bridge has been identified by the Department of Transportation for replacement. The $2.8 million project has been awarded to Gregory Bridge Company.

Here is an overview:

• QUESTION: What are the work crews doing currently?

ANSWER: The current work involves clearing to make way for a "temporary bridge" that will be built off to the side of the current bridge. The temporary bridge will be narrower and more basic than the current bridge, although it will still serve the purpose of keeping traffic flowing as normal while the replacement bridge is being constructed. The temporary bridge will be demolished once the project is completed.

QUESTION: Will there be detours?

ANSWER: The answer is no, according to Department of Transportation District Marketing Specialist Kyle Collins. The "temporary bridge" will have two lanes, although narrow, and be able to accommodate traffic both heading to town and leaving town, basically the same as it is now. For whatever it's worth, the average daily traffic count over the bridge is roughly 8,000 vehicles.

QUESTION: What is the timetable?

ANSWER: The temporary bridge is slated to open "this spring," which is when traffic will be diverted and construction will begin on the permanent bridge. The permanent bridge, meanwhile, is expected to be completed at some point in "late Summer '22," according to DOT, at which time the temporary bridge will be demolished, and work will wrap up.

QUESTION: What will the permanent, replacement bridge look like once everything's finished?

ANSWER: According to Collins, the replacement, permanent bridge "includes a roadway section with 12-foot travel lanes with 10-foot shoulders (four foot paved) and the bridge section will have eight-foot shoulders."

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