Viewpoint: Let's get old bridge decision right

Ten thousand drivers a day cross Albany's Broad Avenue Bridge. At least they did until a week ago when a Department of Transportation inspection showed the 89-year old bridge was no longer safe.

Many of those drivers were caught off guard and mildly inconvenienced by a sudden detour.

There's a temptation to rush to repair the bridge, to say we have to reopen it as quickly as possible. It would be easy for city leaders to run to the state and federal governments demanding the repair money. But they're not doing that, and we think that's the right move.

City manager Alfred Lott told us it could cost ten million dollars to fix the bridge, and he's not sure it's worth it.

"We are looking at how essential it is. Because there are certainly other requirements for our money."

Maybe state and local leaders will determine the bridge is vital to Albany's prosperity and can be repaired at a reasonable price. Or maybe they'll decide the Oglethorpe Bridge just a block away can handle all the traffic crossing the river downtown.

The point is, they need to take their time and make a smart decision.

Times are hard and money is tight. The last thing we need to do is throw money down the river on a project that isn't necessary.