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January 17, 2014

Demo imminent for Hancock overpass

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Milledgeville’s famous pedestrian bridge or “kiddie walk,” as many know it, near the intersection of Hancock and Irwin streets, will soon be demolished.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) owns the dilapidated structure and began removal planning after concrete portions fell into the roadway last week.

City Councilman Walter Reynolds, District 4, said the bridge demolition was previously removed from the GDOT project list due to funding.

“Now with the recent mishaps that have happened there with chunks of concrete falling off, it’s been bumped to the top of the list,” Reynolds said. “GDOT has already had contractors out there bidding on the demo process. The timeline for this will be very swift. They understand this is a hazard, and they will be removing it quickly.”

GDOT workers removed the primary fencing and tested the concrete Thursday. Only a few fence posts and a mesh enclosure on the south end remain.

Jim Leben, GDOT district maintenance engineer, doesn’t have an exact date but confirmed demolition is imminent.

“We will continue to check periodically to ensure there is no loose concrete on the structure until the structure is removed,” Leben said.

The GDOT engineer estimated the complete tear down to take one week.

Neither the City of Milledgeville nor Baldwin County has to contribute a dime to the demo.

GDOT said the final cost is undetermined.

Whenever the overpass destruction commences, the street will be closed requiring traffic detours from state Route 49.

Leben said the traveling public and local officials will have detour routing in advance once a timeframe is established.

Decades ago the structure served as a student passageway between West End Elementary and both Baldwin Middle and High schools. West End students used the bridge to cross to Baldwin for band and P.E. classes in the mid-1960s. 

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