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What lies ahead in replacement of Dawsonville Highway bridge over Lake Lanier
Highway 53
The Highway 53 westbound bridge on Friday, July 10, 2020. - photo by By Scott Rogers

Update, Aug. 3: Bridge replacement work gears up this week with a traffic shift planned for Tuesday, Aug. 4, and a lane closure Thursday-Friday, Aug. 6-7, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The traffic shift on the eastbound bridge will be in place throughout the project, DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said.

The single-lane closure is set on the eastbound bridge from 11 p.m. Thursday to about 5 a.m. Friday for a concrete pour, she said.

The traffic shift and lane closure are weather dependent.

Previous story: One of Lake Lanier’s oldest bridges is on the brink of being replaced. 

Work is gearing up to build a new, two-lane westbound Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 bridge over the Chattahoochee River in West Hall, replacing the 64-year-old structure there now. 

Barges and cranes are scheduled to be mobilized on the lake Friday, July 17, as workers begin foundation work, said Katie Strickland, Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman. 

Friday’s work will require a minor shift in traffic on the eastbound Ga. 53 bridge, which is a separate two-lane structure. 

The new bridge will be built between the two existing bridges, with the old bridge torn down after the new bridge is completed and open to traffic. The $20 million project is projected to be finished by July 2022. 

A temporary barrier wall could be put in place in late July or early August, requiring a lane shift on the eastbound bridge, Strickland said. 

Work on the new bridge’s beams and the driving surface could start in March or April 2021, she said. 

Until next spring, “the majority of the work will be on the lake between the existing two bridges,” Strickland said. “So, there will be minimal activity affecting traffic other than the traffic shift on the eastbound bridge.” 

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

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.