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W. Hall bridge gets temporary fix
Plans developing for more permanent surface repairs
Georgia Department of Transportation closes one lane of the Jerry Jackson Bridge Tuesday morning as crews patch the westbound surface along Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway.

Workers spent Tuesday on a temporary fix to the westbound Jerry Jackson Bridge that crosses Lake Lanier in West Hall.

A Georgia Department of Transportation crew closed one lane at a time on the two-lane Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway bridge to repair the driving surface, which had come apart to the extent that it was exposing a steel grid.

"We're putting in a very thin layer, almost like the topping, of asphalt to fill in (those areas) where the epoxy (coating) has come out," said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT's Gainesville office.

"It's not going to ride like a brand-new, smooth asphalt road, but it will be better than the bumpiness that's out there now."

A larger project that will involve replacing the epoxy coating "may take months" to develop.

"We're trying to figure that out now and hopefully by the first of next week, I'll know more of a timeline for that," Pope said. "We have been getting so many complaints about it. It is a rough ride over that bridge right now."

Basically, the epoxy coating there now "has outlived its lifespan and is breaking apart, (with) asphalt cracking badly," Pope has said.

Engineers from the state's bridge maintenance office recently inspected the bridge and determined it is structurally sound.

The two-lane, 1,216-foot bridge on Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway crosses Lake Lanier north of Gainesville Marina. Daily, it carried some 12,550 cars on average in 2009, the last year numbers were compiled, Pope said.

It 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.

After the 1992 project was completed, the DOT embarked on a four-lane widening of Dawsonville Highway from Lake Ranch Court near the bridge to Duckett Mill Road, a 3.24-mile stretch.

That $30 million project was completed in 2008.