SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Houlihan Bridge was closed today as state inspectors looked into issues with the bridge’s closure.
Upon inspection the Georgia Department of Transportation said the issue is the locking mechanism that holds the swing span in alignment with the rest of the bridge travel way.
Temporary measures have been installed to keep the swing span aligned and locked in place, but a permanent repair detail is being coordinated.
Georgia DOT Bridge inspectors continue to monitor the mechanical systems that operate the swing span of the Houlihan Bridge.
Last week, for two days in a row, the bridge closed and reopened due to a mechanical issue.
The Houlihan Bridge is the only turn-style bridge in the state that’s operational. It was built in 1922 and in order to be opened, a person would have to climb up the bridge and physically turn a component of it.
“In 1954, they revamped the bridge and that’s when the control tower was built. So it’s all electronic now,” Nagel explained, adding that the bridge was raised from 14 to 17 feet.
“We would have transfer trailer trucks hit the top of it. So, we did raise the bridge, that’s been several years ago to keep that from happening,” the GDOT spokesperson said.
Because the bridge is so old, if a part breaks, it has to be fabricated.
There are plans to replace the bridge. On October 2021, the SR 25 at Savannah and Middle River Bridges Replacement Project was awarded to the Scott Bridge Company, Inc./Michael Baker International, Inc. as the Design-Build (DB) Team who will work to deliver this project. The DB Team is progressing the project’s final design and preparing to begin construction in Q4 2022.