Public can vote for Fifth Street bridge in national competition

When Fifth Street Bridge opened eight months ago, community members say they were in awe of everything the bridge had to offer.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:23 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta’s Fifth Street pedestrian bridge is in the running for the 2023 People’s Choice Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The nomination comes despite maintenance issues News 12 reported eight months after the bridge opened.

The bridge is one of 12 projects across the country selected in regional competitions and now vying for the national title. To see all 12 contenders, visit

Online voting continues through Nov. 14. You can vote once every 24 hours at


The national competition highlights impactful transportation projects completed by state transportation departments.

The Augusta project revitalized the previously outdated and structurally deficient vehicle bridge over the Savannah River and transformed it into an active transportation and pedestrian crossing.

The project included installation of benches with shading, water fountains for people and companion animals, and substantial lighting. The new bridge deck was colorfully painted to include important dates in its history.

The $10 million renovation created a lot of buzz with its opening about a year ago, but News 12 reported that eight months after the opening, wear and tear was already beginning to show, including decorative paint on the concrete wearing off, plants dying, broken trash cans and vandalism.

Dr. Hameed Malik, Augusta’s director of engineering, told us he was working on a maintenance plan.

“We’re going to touch it up, and then I’m getting the annual repainting code from the contract for at least. The challenge is open to the public. People walk on it. People begin to ride on it. So the paint is gonna be an ongoing challenge,” he said.

“We’re learning as we go on how to mitigate vandalism things,” he said.