Bridgework delays 15th Street opening

Project to take 2 more months

A downtown Augusta road project three years in the making still isn’t finished.

The widening of a small bridge on 15th Street between Broad and Greene streets will take a couple more months, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The agency had hoped as recently as June to have the bridge finished by the end of July.

The section of road is the final leg of the $30 million St. Sebastian Way project, a series of bridges and road extensions designed to streamline commuter traffic.

“It’s just taking more time to do this than we thought it would,” said Mike Keene, DOT’s area engineer.

The original completion date for the entire project was July 2010. But, when construction workers reached 15th Street, they found the old bridge had been built differently than anticipated. Engineers were forced to redesign its widening.

So far, construction workers have poured the bridge’s new end walls and extended the bridge on one side. To finish, they must extend the other side, add handrails and resurface the entire deck, Keene said.

Building and tying the two extensions to an existing bridge is more time-consuming than normal construction, Keene said.

“It’s almost like a remodel of a house. You end up putting more work in it than if you were building new,” he said.

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