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This long-awaited bridge over Lake Lanier is now open to traffic
Dawsonville Highway's westbound bridge over Lake Lanier opened Friday, May 20. - photo by Jeff Gill

The new Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 westbound bridge over Lake Lanier opened Friday, May 20, with the demolition of the old bridge expected to start later this month.

Even as traffic is shifted to the new structure, work will continue around the bridge.

“Continued construction activities in completing the project include placement of asphalt on the bridge approach slab and final roadway striping,” according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. “Motorists can expect minor traffic impacts for these final construction items.”

The $23.5 million West Hall bridge was built between the eastbound bridge and the old bridge, which should be completely torn down by fall, according to GDOT.

“We’re excited to celebrate its opening,” said Kathe Ahmed, GDOT project manager, adding that its completion was “just in time for the busy summer months.”

The westbound bridge – also known as the Jerry Jackson Bridge — underwent extensive work in 2016, as the DOT repaired the driving surface, repainted the structure and installed bridge joints.

After extensive repair work in 2016, Georgia DOT decided to replace the 66-year-old bridge according to the department.

Construction started in July 2020.

The bridge’s replacement is part of an ongoing DOT effort to replace structures that date to Lake Lanier’s creation in the 1950s. 

 This article was originally posted by the Gainesville Times, a sister publication to Forsyth County News.