EAST FORSYTH — Demolition of the old Hwy. 20 bridge that links Forsyth and Gwinnett counties over the Chattahoochee River began Wednesday.
The Georgia Department of Transportation announced the project after shifting traffic — one lane in each direction — last week to a new bridge built parallel and south of the old one, which dates to 1947.
The bridge deck, or driving surface, will be removed in 10-foot long sections beginning on the Gwinnett side, according to Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the DOT.
The next phase will remove the horizontal beams, with the vertical bridge columns the last to come down.
“This is a systematic demolition to capture and contain all debris out of the river,” Pope said.
The work will be conducted daily as weather permits, she said, and is expected to finish by Dec. 31.
The project will not affect traffic unless drivers slow down to watch the work.
The Hwy. 20 corridor from Samples Road in Cumming across the Chattahoochee River to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Gwinnett County is being transformed into a four-lane divided highway.
Work is being conducted in three separate projects totaling 7.53 miles. The old bridge has been said to not meet current design standards.
Plans for the 1.07-mile portion that includes the river overpass also calls for a second, two-lane bridge to be constructed so that each bridge will carry motorists in one direction across the Chattahoochee.
Once completed, Hwy. 20 will be a four-lane divided highway from Ga. 400 in Cumming to the Grayson community in Gwinnett County.