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Repairs on the way for two Lake Lanier bridges
Browns Bridge the latest to get temporary fix
A Georgia Department Of Transportation crew makes repairs to the surface of Browns Bridge Monday afternoon while one lane of traffic is closed. The repairs are temporary until the DOT can plan a more extensive permanent fix.

It’s been a source of worry and nuisance for some time.

Standing in front of his house, Dieter Jaeger daily hears a loud “ka-boom, ka-boom” when trucks cross the heavily traveled Brown’s Bridge over Lake Lanier.

“There are two places on that bridge that create this unevenness,” said Jaeger, who lives about a mile from the Ga. 369 bridge at the Hall-Forsyth county line.

Relief may be on the way, as the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning repairs to the bridge’s damaged driving surface.

Maintenance crews were on the scene Monday putting temporary patches into place, closing one lane at a time and using a pilot vehicle to lead traffic across the bridge.

Earlier this month, the DOT completed similar repairs to another aging structure on the lake, the westbound Jerry Jackson Bridge on Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway.

The DOT is planning permanent fixes to both bridges, with those details yet to be worked out.

“Both bridges are sound structurally,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT’s Gainesville office. “The epoxy coating is coming off the 369 bridge just like the (Ga.) 53 bridge.

“The ride is rough, so our crews are out there working to improve the ride until a longer-lasting fix can occur.”

The fix for both bridges also is the same: replacing the epoxy coating.

“We are developing the project parameters now,” Pope said. “The project will have to go through our federal environmental guidelines. We must ensure we meet those guidelines before we can let the work for bid.”

Both bridges could comprise one project, with plans to put it to bid this year.

The structures date to the early days of Lake Lanier.

Browns Bridge, which is 1,372 feet long, was built in 1955. It was rebuilt in 1999.

The 1,216-foot Jerry Jackson Bridge was built in 1956 and served as a two-way bridge until 1992, when a two-lane, 1,176-foot eastbound bridge was built and it became a westbound bridge.

 The construction took place as part of a Dawsonville Highway widening project.