The Crescent Avenue bridge off Cave Spring Road is the only access to a neighborhood of 37 homes.
The city’s public works committee agreed Wednesday to commit two years of funding from the state’s Local Maintenance Improvement Grant program to the project.
Public Services Director Kirk Milam said the city is due to receive $205,000 in the current budget, and the state aid coordinator expects another $205,000 to be available in the fiscal year that starts this July 1.
“It makes it a project within our reach,” he told the committee.
A two-lane bridge that meets Georgia Department of Transportation standards is estimated at $600,000. Officials thought it would be at least three years before they could muster the funding.
City Manager John Bennett said the balance can be drawn from the $300,000 earmarked in the city’s budget for paving, and from the capital projects fund.
The redirection of paving money is unlikely to affect the road resurfacing schedule. Public Works Director Jamie McCord said work was put on hold last year until the city could buy a milling machine.
“We still have almost seven miles of paving from 2009 and 2010 that isn’t done yet,” he said. “We can’t pave more this year, anyway.”
City Commissioner Duane Reid said the condition of the bridge is a public safety issue with the potential for loss of life, which makes the project a priority.
The GDOT rated the bridge for a three-ton load limit — safe for SUVs and passenger vehicles but not for school buses, ambulances and other heavy trucks. Fire Chief Gordon Henderson has said a specialized emergency response policy is in place for the neighborhood.
Also on Wednesday, Assistant Public Works Director Steven Foy said the GDOT has hired contractors to re-time the traffic signals on Turner McCall Boulevard and Shorter Avenue.
The project, slated for completion by April, will improve the traffic flow, he said.