Baptism pool prompts Hall Co. bridge construction changes

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HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Georgia engineers updated their plans to replace a bridge on a creek when generations of people have been baptized.

The Georgia Department of Transportation began to replace a rickety bridge from 1940 where Highway 52 runs over a Hall County creek, but after work began, the DOT received a call from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s office.

Cagle met Channel 2’s Jeff Dore at the construction site. He said he has a lot of relatives in the area.

“Many of my family members have actually been baptized in the actual pool,” Cagle said.

Cagle notified GDOT that the construction was near a baptism pool.

Grace Nell Hewell showed Dore pictures from Candler Creek in the 1950s. She said big crowds would gather at the creek’s edge near the bridge to sing during baptisms.

The creek is not used as much lately because of indoor baptisms, but GDOT wanted to preserve parking and access to the creek.

“In case somebody does want to come and show their children, ‘This is where I was baptized, this is where is happened,’ they can safely get down to the site,” Teri Pope of GDOT said.

Changes did not cause any setbacks with the construction. The new bridge is set to open in September.