The new Clarks Bridge could open by June 25, but motorists will have to put up with a little inconvenience first.
The bridge over Lake Lanier is set to be closed for up to 10 days, starting Monday, so that construction crews can finish tying in Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road approaches to the bridge, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The only way to reach the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue and Clarks Bridge Park, which are just north of the bridge, will be by traveling south on Ga. 284.
The DOT’s official detour, marked by signs, involves only state routes: taking Ga. 11/Cleveland Highway north to Ga. 52/Brookton-Lula Road, then heading east on Ga. 52 to Ga. 284. Motorists can then travel south on Ga. 284 toward the bridge.
There are other connections between Cleveland Highway and Ga. 284 north of the bridge, with the closest being Lakeland Road.
Weather could affect when the tie-in work begins and ends, but the work itself should take no more than 10 days, the DOT says.
Next up for construction crews is demolishing the old bridge, which was built in 1958.
“It will come down in pieces, over weeks (and) maybe a month, to ensure all debris is caught and does not get into the lake,” DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope said.
Overall, the $8.7 million project is set to be completed Dec. 31.
“There is no contract date connected with opening the bridge — only the overall completion of all the work,” Pope said.
The DOT’s contract with the bridge builder, E.R. Snell Contractor of Snellville, required that the detour and bridge closing take place over the summer so school bus travel would not be affected, she said.
The new bridge will have two 12-foot travel lanes and an 8-foot bike lane/shoulder in each direction. It will be 952 feet long and 40 feet wide. The current one 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.