If you thought 2020 would be the year drivers would heed multiple warnings and not try to fit their too-tall vehicles through the Concord Road covered bridge, then human nature has dealt a blow to your optimism.
One of Cobb County’s most coveted structures experienced its first near-collision of the year Sunday when a driver crashed into one of the metal beams protecting the structure.
Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt said the call to Department of Transportation crews came in around 8:30 p.m. Crews were able to reattach the beam at the entrance to the bridge.
“Crews report a vehicle struck the beam and left the scene before police arrived,” the county said in its Facebook post. “There is no sign of damage to the hanging pipes installed to give warning.”
Sunday’s incident was the first since June when a work van bonked one of its metal beams — while the county was installing traffic mast arms for a new warning system to alert driver of the one-lane bridge’s 7-foot clearance.
The system includes dangling rubberized pipes and chains suspended from two mast arms installed at both ends of the bridge. The county previously encased the chains with PVC pipes when it first installed the warning system in June.
Cobb County says the new system works since, up until Sunday, no accidents have been reported at the bridge since the summer.
The Concord Road covered bridge spans Nickajack Creek just south of the East-West Connector. It has had about two dozen close calls since December 2017 when the county installed protective metal beams at both ends of the bridge as part of an $800,000 taxpayer-funded rehabilitation. The beams are designed to absorb the blow from vehicles, protecting the bridge.
The covered bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a centerpiece of Cobb’s Concord Covered Bridge Historic District, which features homes and mills dating to the 1800s.
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