After a four-month rehabilitation project, the historic Concord Road covered bridge near Smyrna will reopen to traffic Friday, Dec. 15, at 12:30 p.m.
In August the Cobb County Department of Transportation (CCDOT) closed the one-lane bridge, which was originally constructed in the mid-1800s, for work to stabilize the structure that has withstood multiple impacts from vehicles exceeding its 7-foot height restriction. CCDOT added steel “headache beams” to warn of the height limit in 2009. However, trucks continued to hit the bridge roughly every month until it began to lean significantly in October 2016.
The approximately $800,000 rehab project included the installation of four steel reinforcement boxes, lateral supports and interior guardrail. The project’s contractor, Suncoast Restoration and Waterproofing, LLC, replaced the bridge’s decayed siding and roof shingles and repainted portions of the structure. After the long history that led to its tilt, straightening the bridge took less than 20 minutes. Digital overhead warning signs triggered by height measuring devices will be placed on the approaches on either side of the bridge in the coming weeks. This overhaul for safety and preservation of the covered bridge is funded by the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The iconic bridge is protected and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Upon its reopening, it is expected to return to its daily service of carrying 7,000 to 10,000 motorists—a duty that makes it the only covered bridge over 100 years old that remains a key transportation corridor in the southeastern United States.