Kelly Girtz, District 9 commissioner, speaks during the Athens Clarke County City Hall meeting on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at City Hall in downtown Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta, crmatacotta@gmail.com)

As the Athens-Clarke County Commission prepares for a shift in members and initiatives, the results of some decisions from last year are beginning to take effect.

Extended alcohol hours on St. Patrick's Day 

St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year, but Athens residents can still visit their favorite bar. Establishments which sell beer, liquor or wine by the drink, namely bars, will be able to sell alcohol starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Normally, bars are prohibited by state law from opening on Sundays, but Athens Clarke-County, along with other municipalities, is able to pick one Sunday a year to exempt from the law. This year, the commission chose St. Patrick's Day over Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo. 

Additional free parking days added 

Parking meters will not collect fees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Memorial Day in 2019. These two dates, which are both federal holidays, join the other free parking dates of Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. 

Replacing bridge on Tallassee Road

In December, the commission approved a project to replace a bridge on Tallassee Road, located 3.6 miles from downtown Athens. Construction on the TSPLOST-funded project will commence in fall 2019, according to the ACC government website, which describes the bridge as "structurally deficient." The final bridge will be 250 feet in length and will include two lanes for vehicles as well as a sidewalk. 

Alex Miller contributed to this article. 

Correction: In a previous version of this article, The Red & Black misidentified the name of the road where the bridge is being replaced. The Red & Black regrets this error and it has since been fixed.

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