Cars damaged by warning system to protect historic covered bridge

Cobb County has done a lot to protect the historic Concord Covered Bridge since it was restored. There's a large metal beam in front of the entrance of the bridge, but large vehicles kept crashing into it. So, earlier this year the county put up a beam with hanging PVC pipes at the 7-foot level. It's designed to warn drivers in tall vehicles there's a bridge with a low clearance ahead. Since the first week of the installation, the pipes have been getting damaged by trucks.

Over the weekend, a truck hit the pipes with such force it snapped a weld that was holding the chains up so the chains and the pipes slid down to the 5-foot level. That was about the height of a few passenger vehicles that ended up with cracked windshields. The county is now looking at ways to tweak the system.

"We are trying to come up with a better way to put chains up and affix them to the beam, but also to see if we need to reinforce the pipes, maybe with some rubber or another substance to make them withstand the high-speed collisions a little bit better," said Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt.

Cavitt says, for the most part, they're pleased with how the system is working.  He says there haven't been any trucks slamming into the bridge or the beam right in front of it.

But Jimmy Moore, who lives right next to the warning system, says he sees problems on a daily basis.   He says if trucks aren't breaking the pipes, they're slamming on their brakes almost causing traffic accidents.  He says there's got to be a better way to protect the bridge.

"This is not functional, it doesn't even fit the historic district, it's a very antiquated system," said Moore.

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