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Friday, December 23, 2011 - 12:45pm

Project Spares Music Landmark

Authorities working to turn a railroad into a trail say they will bypass a landmark trestle made famous by Georgia rock group R.E.M., which featured a photo of the train bridge on its "Murmur" album.

Officials tell the Athens Banner-Herald that they decided to reroute the rail-trail around the trestle due to the high cost of restoring it and its dilapidated condition.

Athens-Clarke County bought the trestle for $25,000 in 2000 after then-owner CSX Transportation partially tore it down, sparking an outcry from local preservationists and R.E.M. fans around the world.

A 2009 engineering study deemed the aging wooden trestle too unstable to support a trail. Since the trail will now go around it, authorities said the trestle will remain in its present condition for the time being.