GDOT to raise Talmadge Bridge in 2025

Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 4:02 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2023 at 5:46 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - New details on plans to raise the Talmadge Bridge in Savannah.

GDOT says crews will raise the bridge by 20 feet starting in early 2025.

GDOT says the first step would be to replace the cables that are currently on the bridge.

Then those new cables would have the ability to be shorted until the bridge reaches the new desired height.

It’s a needed project GDOT says to help with growth at the nearby Port of Savannah.

The Talmadge Bridge has 185 feet of clearance, according to GDOT.

That could all change if the bridge raising project goes to plan.

GDOT officials say the goal is to explore increasing the Talmadge’s height over time to allow for bigger cargo ships to pass below.

“It’s not something that would be noticeable right away or maybe even week to week to the driver and specifically to the folks below on the channel, but towards the end you would definitely notice a difference,” GDOT communications member Kyle Collins said.

Results from a public comment period of 140 people show that 59 support the project, 26 were against and the remainder were still making up their mind.

GDOT says crews will work to reduce traffic impacts while work is underway.

They note the bridge was designed to have cables replaced while traffic moves across it.

“You would have some temporary closures. We’re not going to have any detours of this bridge that’s in the plans, but it’s probably not going to be anything that drivers really notice other than maybe just two lanes down to one,” Collins said.

The department says it’s all in an effort to reduce limits on the size of ships able to travel under the bridge into the Port of Savannah.

The Georgia Ports Authority has called for the bridge raising project in recent months.

“Being able to support them to bring that additional commerce is not only going to help the area or the region, but really the country as a whole,” Collins said.

GDOT notes that this cable replacement would only be temporary.

Officials say a study is currently in the works to come up with separate plans to eventually replace the bridge several years from now.

Again cable replacement work is expected to start in early 2025.

GDOT says construction details could change between now and then.