A special-called fiscal court meeting was held Wednesday afternoon to discuss an alternative route along Tick Creek Road because of deterioration to the bridge. Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said the bridge had been re-opened with a three-ton weight limit as of Wednesday morning.
The bridge was closed at 1:45 p.m. on Monday after it was determined that water levels were too high to ensure the bridge's stability. The closing has forced many residents to travel a longer distance to get to and from their homes.
The court provided some relief when it approved an alternative, three-quarter mile route through two residents' private property that connects Tick Creek Road to Hagan Lane. The road will remain active until the bridge has been replaced, or until Dec. 31, 2012, whichever comes first. Detour signs are not expected to be posted to limit non-local traffic through the residents' property. Also, a reduced speed limit is expected along the alternate route.
Settles said the county expects assistance from the County Road Aid emergency fund (state funds) to cover the cost of a new bridge, but he was informed that the fund has not contributed more than $200,000 to a single project this year. A new bridge at Tick Creek Road is expected to cost around $300,000 to build. Additional funding for the project beyond the emergency fund has yet to be determined.
Absent from the meeting was magistrate Billy Riney, Jr. The next regular scheduled meeting is Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.