Catastrophic Christmas close call for Cobb’s covered bridge

Congratulations! We’re in the teens.

Yes, for the 13th time since taxpayers spent $800,000 rehabbing it, someone has almost run into the Concord Road Covered Bridge, which has stood near what is now Smyrna for more than 145 years.

The drivers of metro Atlanta are nothing if not consistent.

The county announced the strike Friday in maybe one of the finest examples of municipal government poetry the world has ever seen. (You can view it below.)

The county was not immediately available for details like who, when and how much they paid in fines. Usually, the bill for drivers is about $500.

Seven-foot-high metal beams protect the bridge, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.

The beams, which look like giant yellow staples, were replaced in late October because of being rammed by too many motor vehicles while protecting the bridge, which is what they're built to do.

The structure was reopened about a year ago, mostly because it was leaning. At that time, crews replaced the bridge’s decaying siding and shingles, added structural supports and repainted it.

Even with the beams and flashing signs, the bridge is averaging more than one near-strike a month.

The last time it happened was Dec. 4.

Let’s all add to our New Year’s resolutions not almost destroying an outdated wooden structure spanning a waterway. Auld Lang Syne!

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, near the Silver Comet's ridge 

Not a vehicle was stirring, trying to get under the bridge; 

The silver beams were hung by the DOT with care, 

In hopes that U-Hauls would not travel there; 

The neighbors were nestled all snug in their beds; 

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; 

All was quiet in Cobb on the old Concord Road, 

Not a single car horn, nary a single wide-load, 

When on the Covered Bridge there arose such a clatter, 

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. 

Away to the window, I gave out a scream, 

Tore open the shutters to see a bent silver beam. 

"Not Again" was the thought which made me cringe, 

As I struggled to see who had hit the bridge. 

When what to my wondering eyes did appear, 

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, 

With a little old driver so lively and quick, 

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. 

He sprung to his sleigh, near the beam now leaning, 

And away he drove off, like a criminal fleeing: 

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight- 

Happy Christmas to all, unless you're all over-height.