Crews rush to replace washed out Flowery Branch bridge - Dallas News |

Crews rush to replace washed out Flowery Branch bridge

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City work crews are rushing to replace a bridge that gave way under the recent surge of rain in Flowery Branch. The area, located about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta and no stranger to severe weather, also remains under a State of Emergency.

Meanwhile, residents who rely on the Spring Street roadway are hopeful repairs will be successful and finished soon or they could remain without access from their homes to nearby main roads. The bridge over Flowery Branch Creek is the only way in and out for the residents of the 50-unit Quad Oaks Forest apartment complex.

"They told us to go ahead and either spend the night somewhere else or leave the cars down here," said Elizabeth Pagan.

Pagan parked her car down the street rather than risk being stranded.

In fact, the bridge that failed during the overnight hours was actually a temporary bridge that allowed nearby residents to enter and exit the complex.

What led to this most recent bridge mishap actually started about three years ago when the original bridge collapsed. The replacement bridge couldn't withstand the wave of storms that dumped about eight inches of rain in Flowery Branch last May.

That's when work crews constructed the temporary bridge. It met its demise during the most recent round of rainfall.

For people who rely on the bridge to travel to and from their homes, it's an ongoing battle that they say they're hoping the city can finally resolve once and for all.

"The rain we had yesterday almost compromised this, so today we're going to take it out and put in an temporary bridge, and take the small pipe out and make it an open trough and have this bridge for these people to get in and out," said Johnny Thomas, superintendent at Flowery Branch Pubic Works.

"They say they're going to close the bridge. If it was going to be raining or four inches of rain, they were going to close the bridge."

"There's concerns with our fire engines and ladder truck, if we were to have a fire here or something of that nature, being able to cross here and not have it collapse."

While the plan isn't to put in a permanent bridge just yet; crews are installing a temporary bridge now that is must more sturdy than the earthen one put in place last May.

Another significant issue is that all of the drainage system for the city of Flowery Branch takes the water into Lake Lanier – it's not fully operational. It failed during the May storm.

It's only partially operational, so even city leaders say they're not sure this is going to be a permanent solution – or, really a solution that lasts long all. But, they need to put in even a workable solution for now.

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