Why has Bridge House construction taken so long? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Why has Bridge House construction taken so long?

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April 4, 2008

Albany -- Work on the building that will serve as Albany's Welcome Center has taken a lot longer than initially thought.

Construction on the Bridge House should have wrapped up in January. The $1.2 million renovation project has dragged on because finding the supplies to complete the job wasn't easy.

Recreating what the Bridge House looked like when it was built in the 1800's is no easy task.

"Anytime you're trying to restore something very, very similar to the original it takes a little bit of time," says ATI Construction Project Manager Ken Cribb.

Now four months past the completion deadline, the project you can see why. Albany Tomorrow, Incorporated has done their best to make the Bridge House as authentic as possible, that includes old salvaged pine, that line the windows, ceiling, and soon the floor.

 "The hard pine floors we purchased those from a salvage company, a local salvage company, and we're getting those milled at a local builder supply here," said Cribb.

When you're looking to match what was created in the 1800's, crews has to sort through more materials to find what they needed.

"Some of the bricks that we had to close in the openings, they were hard to find," said Cribb.

This building has some unique features, a newly added elevator strays from the original design, but painted concrete floors are a part of the past as well as the basement. "It even has a basement, which is unique to Albany."

Built by a freed slave, Horace King, as a gateway across the Flint River, ATI hopes this building when it's complete will serve as a new gateway for south Georgia.

"People are going to be coming here, stopping, getting information and learning about what else is around Albany and southwest Georgia," said Cribb.

It's why ATI took their time, put great quality into the project, creating a showcase for Albany and Dougherty County.

Without further delays ATI says construction should wrap up at the end of the month or early May.

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