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New Clarks Bridge wont be taller, but longer and wider
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Will the new Clarks Bridge be higher over the water to allow for bigger boats to pass under? Cabin cruisers have not been able to pass under, especially now with the water level so high. Pontoons now have to go to the south side of the bridge to pass under.

Teri Pope, district spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, said the new bridge will be at the same height as the existing bridge.

The current bridge, built in 1958, is 834 feet long and nearly 24 feet wide and located on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road at Lake Lanier.

Overall, the new bridge will be the same height but longer at 952 feet and much wider at nearly 50 feet. It will feature two 12-foot vehicle lanes, as well as 4-foot bicycle lanes and 5-foot sidewalks in each direction.

Work is slated to begin this month on the project.

Pope has said the contractor must maintain two-way boat traffic on Lanier through the project area at all times, with at least 30 feet per lane. The corps will set up buoys marking the boat pathways just before construction.
The contractor will build the new structure next to the current one.

Then, crews will build approaches to the structure and install a 63-foot pedestrian tunnel connecting Clarks Bridge Park and Lake Lanier Rowing Club/Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club’s boathouse to the Olympic Center and boat ramps.
Once the new bridge, approaches and tunnel are in place, the old bridge will be torn down.

The overall project completion date is Dec. 31, 2015.

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