The Archibald W. Butt Memorial Bridge renovation project remains on schedule with plans to reopen to traffic within a couple months.
The historic bridge closed to traffic in November. The $2 million project, which is funded by the Georgia Transportation Investment Act, includes replacing of the bridge decking, adding bike lanes to both sides of the road, and restoring or replacing some of the historical elements, including the lighting.
The water in the canal was initially lowered to allow contractors to work on the underside of the bridge. Construction engineer Anthony Taylor said that work is already completed on the underside and that contractors are now working on the deck replacement and finishing the sidewalk.
Everything has run fairly smoothly and on schedule, he said. Taylor hopes the work on the road will be completed in time for the Masters Tournament, but other finishing touches, such as upgrading or restoring some of the historical elements, might continue into the summer.
“It will be open where they (travelers) can use it, but it will still be under construction,” he said.
Contractors have been working closely with Historic Augusta to ensure the bridge retains its historical elements and feel.
The bridge was dedicated April 15, 1914, to honor Augusta native Archibald Butt, a military man and close adviser to President William Howard Taft. He died on the Titanic in 1912 after reportedly giving up his lifeboat seat to women and children.