COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Another day, another crash at the covered bridge in Cobb County.
Despite the many warning signs, two drivers hit the steel beams in front of the bridge on Tuesday.
The latest in a series of completely avoidable collisions happened when a U-Haul van struck the metal beam protecting the bridge on Concord Road. Cobb County said on its Facebook page that the collision caused “traffic disruptions” toward the end of the morning rush hour.
“I heard another ‘thunk’ this morning,” said resident Pat Burns. “And I looked out and it was a U-Haul truck. He stayed for a little while but then he took off.”
Burns, who’s lived in the area for more than 30 years, said about each month, said the same scenario plays out: A driver heads down the road, spots the warning signs about the covered bridge and still crashes into the large steel beams.
“They’ve been hit 18 times since we renovated the bridge in late 2017,” said Cobb County spokesperson Ross Cavitt.
Cavitt said GPS systems are partly to blame for the accidents. He said because some drivers are unfamiliar with the bridge, they simply go where their GPS tells them to.
“We tried to work with GPS data suppliers to try to get some kind of warning on here but we’re still working on that,” Cavitt said.
Now the Cobb County Department of Transportation is trying something new. They want to install mast arms and chains just a few feet before the entrance to the bridge.
“Chains that hang down PVC pipe that comes down 7 feet above the road surface, so if a truck is over 7 feet, it hits the PVC pipe, makes a lot of noise and hopefully the driver clues in at that point,” Cavitt said.
Burns said she’s excited about the plan.
“The changes are going to be great,” Burns said.
The county board still has to vote on the project later this month. If it passes, the mast arms would cost just under $20,000 and could go up as soon as this May.
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