bridge

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) -- Bill Cox with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area said efforts to keep people off Settles Bridge haven't been very effective, so rangers will be increasing patrols and tacking on additional fines for violators.

The historic structure connects Gwinnett and Forsyth counties. Thrill-seekers love it, especially this time of year.

“It's a tradition,” said Danny Scrubb. “It's how you kick off summer.”

While some find it exciting, in 2017 the plunge for two young men was deadly. Both drowned.

“The people who get hurt are people who jump too early, they’re jumping when the current is going way too fast,” Scrubb told reporter Ashley Thompson.

Rangers used to issue a $300 fine for people busted on the bridge. The National Park Service will now issue additional citations, which could total $990.

“No I don't like the fines,” said Gary Winthorp. “I mean, I understand it but I think there could be better ways to approach it.”

The NPS will also be stepping up bridge patrols, though that doesn't concern some.

“I saw them one time but that was a while ago,” said Winthorp.

“They come out here every once in a while,” Scrubb explained.

Since May 1, five citations have been issued to climbers.

In May, Forsyth County officials announced plans to build a wall on their side of the bridge to keep jumpers away.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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