Thursday morning, the road to the bridge was closed yet again as the county worked to repair the beam. The protective beams have taken numerous hits since they were originally installed in 2017 and replaced in 2018.
“In the coming weeks, we hope to have some exciting news about a new method designed to keep over-height vehicles off that section of Concord Road,” the county said Thursday on its Facebook page.
READ | Explore the history and beauty of Georgia's covered bridges
The Concord Road covered bridge was built in 1872, and is among fewer than 20 covered bridges in Georgia, according to the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. The bridge is the centerpiece of Cobb’s Concord Covered Bridge Historic District, which features homes and mills dating to the 1800s.
But preserving the beloved bridge hasn't been cheap. The metal beams and signs warning of its seven-foot height were part of an $800,000 taxpayer-funded rehabilitation project in December 2017.
The beam is designed to fall toward the bridge — without hitting it — after a vehicle runs into it. The driver’s insurance company usually get the bill, however. Cavitt said the county spends between $300 and $500 to repair the protective beam each time a driver tests fate and ends up on the losing end.
READ | Hit after hit, is historic Concord Road Covered Bridge worth keeping?
The bridge and its beams experienced a blissfully quiet start to the new year, lasting until Jan. 16 when the driver of a large truck thought there was enough clearance to smoothly pass through. That proved to be a bad calculation, as the truck was stopped in its tracks by the metal beam.
These structures are taking beating while protecting this unique piece of history, said County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area where the bridge is housed.
Cupid said the county is hoping to announce some changes within the next month or two that would improve warnings to drivers that certain vehicles will simply not fit into the covered bridge.
“We need to find a better way to make sure there’s adequate notice,” she said.
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