Update: Construction on New “Clarks Bridge”


Clarks Bridge over Lake Lanier at the Olympic Rowing Venue ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland
Clarks Bridge over Lake Lanier at the Olympic Rowing Venue ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Thirteen years ago, preliminary engineering studies began on the project to replace Clarks Bridge over Lake Lanier where the Chattahoochee River flows into the lake at State Route 284/Clarks Bridge Road near the Olympic Rowing Venue not far from where I once hit a deer in my daughter’s car.

The new bridge will be placed 50 feet east of the current span, toward the nearby boat ramps.

E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc., of Snellville, won the $8.7 million contract to replace the current, narrow bridge, built in 1958.  According to the DOT’s website, construction is underway.

The new span will have two 12-foot vehicle lanes, with 4-foot bicycle lanes and 5-foot sidewalks in both directions.  Overall, the new bridge will be 120 feet longer than the current one and more than twice as wide.

Georgia DOT Northeast Georgia District Engineer Bayne Smith was quoted as saying, “This project is more than a bridge for vehicles, it is a multi-modal structure.  It will provide for motor vehicle traffic, cyclists and pedestrians with the addition of bike lanes, sidewalks and a pedestrian culvert. It will benefit our community and tourists who attend events held at the Rowing Center.”

The pedestrian culvert (what you and I call a “tunnel”) — ten feet wide, eight feet tall and approximately 60 feet long — will be constructed at the entrance of Clarks Bridge Park.  It will allow athletes and folks who attend events at the park to pass under the road, instead of holding up traffic as hordes of pedestrians cross the highway.

Traffic — with the obvious starts and stops common to construction zones — will continue on the existing bridge during construction; however, when the pedestrian culvert is built, the DOT will allow a detour for up to 60 days.  Traffic will be rerouted via an 11-mile detour onto U.S. 129 / Cleveland Highway during that time.

The current bridge will be torn down after the bridge and tunnel are completed in late December of 2015.

Click Here for Previous lakelanier.com Story on New Clarks Bridge

Click Here for GA DOT Info on the Bridge Construction


About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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