• Wall to be built to keep thrill-seekers from historic bridge

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - Many say a historic landmark across the Chattahoochee River is dangerous and needs to be off limits.

    Officials in Forsyth County are taking steps to prevent people from walking out onto the old Settles Bridges, the scene of some tragic accidents over the years.

    "This is where thrill-seekers are getting onto the bridge from the Gwinnett County side of the river," said local resident Harrison O'Neal.

    Those looking to get onto the bridge have to crawl up girders and maintain their balance as they go out to the middle of the bridge, which is over the water.

    It is a popular spot, though some wish it wasn't.


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    "If you look at it at first, it doesn't seem that dangerous," O'Neal said. He said he has always been waryof the bridge. 

    It was built during World War I to connect Forsyth County to Gwinnett County.  It was retired decades ago but it is still used for all the wrong reasons.

    "I think things like that bring out the daredevil in people," said Forsyth County Chair Laura Semanson. Semanson said the so-called fun has led to too many tragedies. 

    In 2017 two people were killed when they jumped off the bridge and into the water.  

    Forsyth County plans to build a barrier on its side of the river to keep people off what's left of the span.

    "(It will be) tall and wide and kind of wrap around it," Semanson said.

    Gwinnett has taken some steps to secure its side of the bridge. The warnings are in plain view.

    Work on the wall is expected to begin any day now.

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