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New Bells Mill Bridge in North Hall now open
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The new Bells Mill Bridge is open to one lane of traffic Thursday, June 18, 2020, north of Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, June 18: The new Bells Mill Bridge opened this morning, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The new Bells Mill Bridge off Cleveland Highway/U.S. 129 in North Hall is set to open to motorists on Thursday, June 18.

Workers will be on the road at 9 a.m. Thursday moving construction barrels and doing final restriping, Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said.

“They probably won’t actually start getting people on the new bridge until the afternoon, somewhere around 3 p.m.,” she said.

The project calls for replacing the old structure with a 661-foot bridge over East Fork Little River. 

The replacement is being done in tandem with the new Longstreet Bridge, which opened to traffic in January farther south on U.S. 129. DOT is tearing down the old bridge and will tear down the old Bells Mill Bridge.

The $34 million bridge replacements have an overall official completion date of September 2020. Road crews often have a “punch list” of items to complete after opening new projects.

Georgia legislators have proposed naming Bells Mill Bridge after fallen Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon.

Senate Resolution 844 seeks to dedicate the bridge as Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon Memorial Bridge and to authorize the DOT to put up signs at the structure.

Dixon was shot and killed July 7 while chasing burglary suspects. 

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