GS&P-Designed Bridge Replacement Opens in Athens

New Structure Provides Safer Travel Across Oconee River, Improved Connectivity

May 03, 2017   |   Alpharetta,  Ga.   |   Projects

Gresham, Smith and Partners is proud to announce the completion of a bridge replacement project in Athens, Ga. College Station Road/CR 481, a four-lane roadway facility classified as an Urban Collector Street, crosses the North Oconee River near the University of Georgia (UGA) campus. The GS&P team proposed the replacement of two structurally deficient bridges with a single bridge to the northeast on new alignment. Construction was staged in sections, allowing for two travel lanes in each direction to be maintained throughout the process and minimizing congestion and delays. The project was designed to accommodate all modes of travel, including cyclists and pedestrians, and improves safety and connectivity to local neighborhoods and trails.

“Our team’s structural engineering proficiency and familiarity with Complete Streets and infrastructure in Athens was important,” commented Scott Shelton, P.E., senior transportation engineer at Gresham, Smith and Partners. “We were well-equipped to coordinate with GDOT, FEMA, and local leaders and stakeholders in Athens-Clarke County and UGA to facilitate a smooth design and construction process. The new bridge provides an efficient, cost-effective solution for College Station Road that improves quality-of-life for students of UGA, as well as residents and visitors of Athens."

The new bridge includes two 12-foot eastbound lanes and two 12-foot westbound lanes, a 24-foot median, two four-foot bike lanes, two 6.5-foot paved shoulders, a five-foot sidewalk along the eastbound lanes and a 3.5-foot grass shoulder along the westbound lanes. It is located near the University of Georgia and equipped to handle the average daily traffic volume of 50,500 vehicles expected by 2032. The design team considered several bridge design options and then vetted those options through local stakeholders, resulting in the single bridge replacement option with Complete Street features to accommodate UGA students.

GS&P’s Transportation professionals deliver comprehensive planning, design, environmental, architectural and construction phase services for highway, transit, aviation and rail facilities throughout the Southeast. The firm is currently providing transportation engineering services throughout the state of Georgia for projects in Gwinnett County, Cobb County, Athens-Clarke County, Laurens County, Douglas County, Lowndes County and others.

“The new bridge provides an efficient, cost-effective solution for College Station Road that improves quality-of-life for students of UGA, as well as residents and visitors of Athens.”

Scott Shelton, P.E., GS&P senior transportation engineer
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