Digging the Olympic Venue Pedestrian Tunnel

Pedestrian tunnel progress as of June 17, 2014. ~ Photograph courtesy of GA DOT's Facebook page.
Progress on the Olympic Venue pedestrian tunnel as of June 17, 2014. ~ Photograph courtesy of GA DOT’s Facebook page.

Thru-traffic was shut down on Clarks Bridge Road/SR 284 back on May 26, 2014, near the parking lots of the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue and Clarks Bridge Park.

That closure will remain in place until July 26th, which should be enough time to construct the new Olympic Venue pedestrian tunnel under the road.  For that to happen, the road must be raised by three feet to tuck the new tunnel in underneath.

Crews are working steadily on the new pedestrian tunnel. Approximately 80% of the concrete for the tunnel is poured. Crews should finish pouring the tunnel this week then the concrete must cure for 30 days.

Workers are also semi-frantically building a new bridge on the northern end of Lake Lanier adjacent to the current span near the former Olympic Venue.

Georgia DOT says crews have begun driving steel pile to support the footings of the new bridge.  The current bridge is still open to traffic from Gainesville, but vehicles cannot go past the tunnel work at the Olympic Venue.  No lanes on the existing bridge will be closed for this work.

“Driving pile makes a racket!  It is a very loud operation as steel H pile is driven down to a maximum depth of 56 feet for this bridge.  The pile driver strikes the pile forcing it down into the ground – think of a massive hammer striking steel and the loud reverberating ringing noise.   Driving pile will take about a week.  Eighteen pile will be driven, 9 on each end of the bridge.  Once all the pile is driven, the next phase of work on the bridge is to begin setting bridge beams.  If the weather cooperates with us, we expect to begin setting beams in early July,” explained Harold Mull, Georgia DOT District Construction Engineer.

Remember, there is a detour in place through July 26. SR 284 is closed to all traffic just north of the Olympic Venue.

  • To access the parking and boat ramps, vehicles must come SR 284 northbound or from Gainesville.
  • No access will be available to the parking area or boat ramps from SR 284 southbound from Clermont.

The current bridge will be torn down after the new bridge — with 12-foot-wide lanes and an 8-foot-wide shoulder in each direction for bicycling or walking — is completed in late December of 2015.

To receive e-mail updates on the project please contact Teri Pope at [email protected].

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment.

For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).


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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