by: Shae Rozzi Updated:ATLANTA —
Residents in northwest Atlanta will welcome the sight of emergency bridge repair work Monday, something they’ve been waiting to see for more than three months.
In mid-December, the Georgia Department of Transportation ordered the city of Atlanta to close the bridge on West Lake Avenue to repair corroded support beams.
The bridge runs above CSX railroad tracks and MARTA train tracks.
Orange barrels and large blocks of cement have blocked drivers from being able to access the bridge since then.
Drivers have to follow a detour around the main community thoroughfare.
Concerned resident Tony Brown said blocking off the bridge for so long is more than an inconvenience.
“For us, it’s security,” Brown told Channel 2’s Shae Rozzi.
He’s concerned that the detour will delay emergency response time.
Repairs were originally slated to be complete by mid-February.
Rozzi reported in late February that the work had yet to begin.
The city then set a new a time frame from mid-March to the end of April for the repairs to be made.
The work finally began Monday morning.
Rozzi reached out to a representative from CSX Railroad, which owns the property, and the City of Atlanta Department of Public Works, which is responsible for making the repairs.
The CSX representative said it had disagreed with the amount of work that needed to be done and the time it would take to complete it.
The Public Works representative said it took longer than anticipated for the two parties to reach an agreement.
In a statement issued to Channel 2 Action News, Senior Public Relations Manager Valerie Bell-Smith wrote, “We recognize that this closure has been an inconvenience to the community. Every effort is being made to ensure that the needed repairs to the corroded beams underneath the West Lake Avenue Bridge are completed as quickly as possible.”
“The thing is, we’ve been told on two occasions what’s going to happen and it just hasn’t happened,” Brown said.