March 29, 2013

Overpass project one-tenth complete

Utilities pose problems for grade separation

March 29, 2013 Jason Schaefer The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation continues construction of an overpass on West Hill Avenue over the Norfolk Southern railroad line that intersects it, and GDOT says the project is right on schedule.

As of the end of February, 11 percent of the allocated project funds have been spent in 18 percent of the project time, but construction has not been without its hiccups.

Part of the project requires the relocation of water and sewer, gas, electrical and telephone and media lines overhead and underground passing through the construction site.

“The progress of construction is contingent upon the continuance of the relocation of these facilities,” said Jill Nagel, GDOT communications officer. “We’ve had some issues.”

Some of these utilities have been relocated, while others remain troublesome, according to Nagel.

The overpass project includes a 300-foot bridge directly over the rail line, a retaining wall at the back of sidewalks along the bridge, and a 7 percent grade leading from street level to the bridge.

The grade will raise the road on either side of the overpass from West Street to Third Street.

Frontage roads will be constructed parallel to it to provide access to local businesses and residents, and the public will have access to businesses along the construction site as the overpass is built, according to GDOT. Frontage roads will be one lane, one-way travel.

“There will be an access road that runs alongside the bridge at ground-level that gives accessibility to all those businesses there,” Nagel said. “There’s no way we would be not giving access to the businesses. Those businesses will not be affected.”

The primary contractor for this project is Reames Construction Company of Valdosta.

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