Demolition of the old Clarks Bridge on Lake Lanier in Gainesville has started, but the work shouldn’t affect traffic flow across the new bridge, which is next to the old one.
Also, boat traffic shouldn’t be affected, as “a barge is working under the bridge to catch debris,” Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman Teri Pope said Wednesday.
The 57-year-old bridge’s driving surface will be removed in 10-foot sections first. Then, workers will remove the horizontal bridge beams and, finally, the vertical bridge columns.
The work should take three months to complete, wrapping up the overall $8.7 million bridge project that started in late 2013. Dec. 31 is the official completion date.
The new bridge on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road opened in June, but demolition couldn’t start until at least Sept. 1, outside the breeding and nesting season of phoebes and swallows.
The old bridge was replaced because it no longer met design standards.
The new bridge has two 12-foot travel lanes and an 8-foot bike lane/shoulder in each direction. It is 952 feet long and 40 feet wide. The old bridge is 834 feet long and nearly 24 feet wide.
The project also involved construction of a new pedestrian tunnel under Ga. 284. The tunnel opened earlier this year.
The tunnel is expected to especially benefit large crowds at the venue, which is marketing itself for sporting and non-sporting events alike.