Blue Ridge, Ga – The Fannin County Board of Commissioners approved a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for Madola Road bridge construction during the Tuesday, April 23 board meeting.
The commissioners and GDOT must agree on the proposed budget before construction or improvements can proceed. Costs for the project will be split between the state of Georgia and Fannin County with the county expected to pay 50%. The shared cost includes not only bridge work but right of way acquisitions and expenses during the construction process.
GDOT recently recalculated the initial estimate of $327,000 and lowered the proposed expenses to $150,000 total with Fannin paying $75,000 instead of $163,500.
“I like that quite a bit compared to what we had,” said Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton.
“It’s an important bridge to the community. The state’s going to be taking a majority of the cost. I think $75,000 is a very good number for Fannin County,” stated Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson.
Construction will not begin until July 1, 2022, or later. The state still needs to approve the proposed project budget. Only once the budget receives the sign-off from the state will the county have to pay $75,000. Also, the expected amount could still change between now and the start of construction.
Madola Road Bridge built in 1956 was downgraded to a 5-ton weight limit in 2017 by GDOT. The department marked the bridge for replacement during that same inspection. Due to the limited usage, these improvements will open the road back up to motorists with larger hauls.
The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the MOA and go forward with the project.
Next, Robert Graham, Fannin County EMA Director, announced that the county received a $26,000 federal grant to update the hazard mitigation plan.
A hazard mitigation plan is in place to help lessen the impact of disasters through identifying risks and vulnerabilities and developing long-term strategies to protect people and property. Fannin County’s current plan is updated every five years with November 2016 being the most recent plan approval.
Graham added, “These grants are only available after there has been a disaster in Georgia, then the federal government makes this hazard mitigation money available.”
The grant amount broke down as follows:
• Federal Share: $19,500
• State Share: $2,600
• Local share: $3,900
According to Graham, previously the county portion was paid via in-kind labor, and he expects the same this time, meaning the local portion will be minimal if anything at all.
If approved, Graham will have a new plan in place in 2020.