It wouldn’t be a normal day in Cobb County without someone ignoring the warning signs and crashing into the metal beams protecting the Concord Road covered bridge.
This latest example of drivers of too-tall vehicles believing they’ll fit through the bridge’s seven-foot clearance occurred Tuesday morning when a truck pulling a trailer “took out” the beam protecting the structure, Cobb County said on its Facebook page.
Cobb Department of Transportation officials were able to reopen this one-lane road in less than 30 minutes after the collision, the county said. The driver was cited and his or her’s insurance company will be charged for the repairs, which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars, the county added.
This is the 19th close call the bridge spanning Nickajack Creek just south of the East-West Connector has experienced since late 2017, the fifth incident in 2019 and the fourth one to occur within the last two months.
The previous close call was reported April 9 when U-Haul van struck the metal beam protecting the bridge. Witnesses told Cobb police that the driver left the scene, but they were able to obtain a tag number for the offender.
Fortunately, the county has a plan to roll out another set of warning devices to alert drivers of the bridge. The system will feature a traffic signal mast arm with plastic-covered PVC pipes that will be suspended at a seven-foot clearance, which is the same maximum height for the one-lane bridge.
After drivers see existing static warning signs, vehicles that are too large to pass through the bridge will strike the pipes. Drivers will then see existing electronic warning signs identifying a vehicle that is too tall to pass through the structure and (hopefully) turn around to avoid becoming another statistic. The county said it hopes the new devices will be installed by the end of May.
County commissioners at their April 23 meeting approved a contract with Detection Engineering Technology, Inc. to perform the work at a cost not to exceed $19,540.
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