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New southbound I-985 bridge to open, help ease traffic
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A new bridge spanning Mundy Mill Road will open this afternoon to accommodate Interstate 985 southbound traffic.

"On your way home, it will be completely different," DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said. "This is a major change."

Pope warns drivers to be alert while navigating the new bridge and to observe the new signs and follow their instructions. A 55-mile-per-hour speed limit will be posted and enforced by doubled fines.

The new I-985 bridge was constructed to allow for the widening of Mundy Mill Road from four lanes to six. The project will also build sidewalks for Mundy Mill Road. And, under the new bridge, Mundy Mill Road will have an additional four turning lanes, two in each direction, to alleviate traffic congestion on the thoroughfare as vehicles prepare to turn onto the interstate.

"For the past decade, that area of Mundy Mill has been one of our most highly traveled roads," Pope said. "This project will greatly reduce congestion."

The northbound portion of the bridge has yet to be built alongside the two newly constructed southbound lanes.

Begun in June 2006, the bridge is scheduled to be completed by February 2010, and will support four lanes of I-985 as well as four 12-foot wide shoulders. Upon the opening of the new bridge, the old northbound bridge will be demolished.

The Georgia Department of Transportation project also aims to expand Atlanta Highway from two to four lanes between Frontage Road and Blackshear Place Baptist Church.

"We’re building a new access point, where you will eventually be able to get on and off the bridge from Atlanta Highway," Pope said.

Pope said the $74 million construction plan is about 55 percent finished, which is slightly ahead of schedule as a result of little rain.

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