DeKalb County

Business owners say metro county’s lack of urgency in fixing bridge is costing them money

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Business owners in DeKalb County are fed up and frustrated with the time it has taken to fix an intersection they say has taken the county two years to fix.

“This is just awful,” neighbor Debbie Jackson said.

Business owners and residents living near Cedar Grove Road say they’ve been waiting two years for the county to deliver a repaired road.

“There’s no progress, if you’re going to shut it down fix it,” Jackson said.

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Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln found the county was required to close the bridge in March of 2020 after the Georgia Department of Transportation found the road to be unsafe for cars and the many 18-wheelers traveling in this area.

But residents say the closing has led to an increase in big rig traffic in residential zones.

“I know some of the residents in this area are definitely plagued by the trucks, the traffic, the noise, not to mention it’s tearing up our streets,” Jackson said.

“I’ve lost over $100,000 a year in revenue because of that bridge is closed,” business owner Albert Wilson said.


Wilson owns the Conley Package Store where the road closure is at his front door.

“Sometimes they block my customers entering the business because they have to make a turnaround,” Wilson said.

So why the delay?

Channel 2 reached out to Dekalb County where we learned the board approved $4.1 million in lost funds for the new bridge and a contracted company was hired to start design and construction in March of last year.

“This is very inconvenient,” Jackson said.

The county says this isn’t their typical bridge repair, I found out this bridge that we’re standing on has a sewer line, a gas line, fiber optic cables, and an active railroad all running up underneath the bridge.

“This is a major throughway to 285, 675, 75,85,” Jackson said.

Because of the utility lines under the bridge, steps to reroute the lines are underway. Because of the active railroad, they’re in what they are describing as extensive coordination with Norfolk Southern Railroad over construction logistics.

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Once over those hurdles, a 2024 completion date is expected.

“It’s very frustrating,” Wilson said.