Monday 11/27/2006 concrete pour was done on the fourth and final bridge under reconstruction. I checked myself and took this photo today 11/28/2006.
Paving may now start on the final 9 miles, which will connect to the Silver Comet trail. This contract is to be completed by February 2007. Extensive preparation is underway and I expect the paving to be done long before February 2007. One company obtained both contracts for the entire 9-miles and they seam to be in a hurry to get their money.
In the meantime you can bypass this rough unpaved section using highways 49, 70, and 94 to get to the Silver Comet trail. From Piedmont, AL ride the Chief Ladiga trail until you get to the (closed) snack shack and turn left off the trail and right onto highway 70. Look for the green arrows. Take the next paved road to the right. This road is not marked but a green arrow with parentheses will show you the way. This is highway 94. You will find a sign telling you the bridge ahead is out and the road is for local traffic only. Ignore this sign as you and your bike can cross the bridge but vehicular traffic cant. Highway 94 will take you to highway 70 and then you take 49 to the Georgia line. From their take the next paved/unmarked road to the left, which will cross the Silver Comet trail. You can take highway 70 over the mountain but it a pretty long, hard, and steep climb!
Here is a photo of the bridge on highway 94 just so you know what you're getting into if you take that route.
Highway 94 is a very scenic route and well worth getting off your bike and carefully pushing it across the damaged bridge and it sure is a lot easier than taking that hellish climb on highway 70!