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  • Eric Meadows

Replacing a Culvert System with a New Driveway Bridge

This old stone culvert (shown below) at the entrance to a Rental Cabin Resort near Blairsville, GA had fallen into disrepair over the years. From a distance, it appeared to be in fine condition. However, closer inspection revealed the wear and tear of years of heavy waters, debris crashing into the structure, and erosion undermining the entire framework. It came time to replace the existing structure and the good folks at Highland Falls chose to move away from a culvert system. The decision was made to replace the culvert with a bridge; a bridge would allow more water volume and floating trees and other debris to pass freely beneath without damaging the bridge or eroding beneath the bottom of culvert pipes.

After deciding upon a bridge, Highland Falls HOA Director Olen Kew contacted us at Bridges to the Other Side to begin the process.

"We were guided in our choice of Bridges to the Other Side by the strong recommendations of previous customers who met with us.  We now add our voices to their entirely positive comments."

Olen Kew, Highland Fall HOA Director


After the initial site visit and assessment, the crew at Bridges to the Other Side got to work establishing a plan of action which would include designing the new bridge, rerouting a temporary creek ford to avoid impeding traffic during construction, and removing the existing stone structure and culverts.

"Completion of our new bridge before the April rental season was especially important."

Time was of the essence so Bridges to the Other Side wasted no time swinging into action. The old structure was removed and the ingress and egress was graded for the road to meet the new bridge once construction was complete. With the temporary crossing cut into the creek, traffic flowed freely as the crew continued their efforts building and installing the new bridge.

Although this bridge was being built for a commercial operation, its basic requirements were the same as those needed for most homeowners for whom we build bridges. There are codes which must be adhered to and standards of practice in maintaining the integrity of the bridge as well as the surrounding environment. A private driveway bridge, like in commercial applications, must be able to handle the weight of construction vehicles and heavy emergency vehicles such as fire tanker trucks.

"Despite the challenges of heavy rains, BTTOS removed our old bridge and completed our new bridge ahead of schedule."

With steel I-beams in place atop the newly poured abutments, the Bridges crew set to work installing the surfacing materials; in this case treated timbers. They worked hectically to remain on schedule and their experience and knowledge showed as they remained attentive to details and craftsmanship despite the hurried pace. When Bridges to the Other Side builds a bridge for a client, whether a commercial bridge, residential, or a pedestrian bridge, they treat each with equal importance. Safety, durability, aesthetic value, and affordability are all considered throughout the process, from design to completion.




"The work area was left clean, grass areas regraded during construction were reseeded, and erosion fences installed with care."




Leaving a property in better condition after the build than it was before is an important consideration when Bridges to the Other Side installs a new bridge. We take care to respect the surrounding environment especially since we are usually building a crossing over water. We want our customers to be happy with their bridge, but equally, we want them to be happy with the entire experience. A bridge is a big investment, we understand that and work hard to make certain that our results match the expectations of each of our customers.


Thank you to the great folks at Highland Falls Cabins in Blairsville, GA. It was a great experience working with you! And thank you for the ringing endorsements you've given us since!



Full copy of Highland Falls' HOA Recommendation Letter:


Highland Falls Cabins HOA Recommendation:

Bridges to the Other Side (BTTOS) is an excellent company.  We were guided in our choice of BTTOS by the strong recommendations of previous customers who met with us.  We now add our voices to their entirely positive comments.  Ron Salzer, BTTOS founder, and Jason Rickett, the current owner, worked constructively with us to ensure that we were completely satisfied with our new bridge.  Because we have multiple rental cabins in our community, completion of our new bridge before the April rental season was especially important.  Despite the challenges of heavy rains, BTTOS removed our old bridge and completed our new bridge ahead of schedule.  A temporary ford was built to allow uninterrupted passage across our creek.

BTTOS craftmanship and attention to detail was outstanding.  Our new bridge is well-designed, built of top-quality materials, strong, durable, and attractive.  Jason creatively used some of the patterned concrete panels from our old bridge to protect and enhance the beauty of our new bridge.  The concrete bridge foundations and creek bed are protected from erosion by a thick layer of rip-rap.  Jason responded to all our queries with helpful and innovative solutions.  As attested by others, BTTOS was respectful of our property and of the health of our creek.  The work area was left clean, grass areas regraded during construction were reseeded, and erosion fences installed with care.

We are very pleased with our new bridge and its builders.

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