COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A connection between two Columbus historic buildings was restored Friday. A nearly 50-foot span between the two five-story City Mills structures was put in place as the property is being renovated after years of neglect.
A new 50-room boutique hotel will open in early July in the buildings. But first, they have to reconnect the two buildings. RiverFlow Yoga is the only business currently located on the site. And the studio is just below where the bridge was installed.
The project is being done by Columbus developer Ken Henson, the Pezold Companies and the Historic Columbus Foundation. Henson and the foundation acquired the property several years ago after a previous owner had allowed it to fall into disrepair.
The original bridge structure was wood. The replacement is a 27,000-pound steel bridge that will connect to an outside stairwell and elevator shaft.
The bridge project was a tag-team effort between Cam Constriction and MB Cranes. The structure, manufactured off site in Tennessee, was lowered in place by a large crane.
It is just north of the new Mercer University Medical School that is also under construction.
It is part of a multi-million project to turn the 19th century grist mill along the Chattahoochee River into a hotel and more.
“It will connect 20 hotel rooms and a future restaurant and event space and a bar with the building to the west on the river,” said Jack Mazzola, the architect and general contractor on the job.
It is a back-to-the-future move.
“Historically, you can see there used to be a bridge between these two mill structures,” Mazzola said. “And the marks of the old roof line are still there.”
Mazzola was pleased with the bridge was in place before noon.
“It fit perfectly.”