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Crews install huge bridge supports on I-85 project

DULUTH - The longest beams for bridges to fix the Ga. Highway 316 to Pleasant Hill Road commute were put into place Tuesday.

While rubberneckers slowed down traffic for a mile, two cranes lifted six 85-ton beams, setting them along the shoulder of Interstate 85 south, Georgia Department of Transportation Director Teri Pope said.

The bridge is key to the $150 million project to redo the interchange of the interstate and Ga. 316, as one of the biggest complaints from drivers was having to quickly cross five lanes of traffic when coming from Ga. 316 westbound to exit at Pleasant Hill Road.

This week, crews have a long list of work to get done before winter makes it impossible.

"We're trying to get as much done as quickly as we can while weather allows," Pope said.

After excavating a blast that occurred Monday, crews will decide this morning whether more blasts will be required this week.

If so, traffic will be stopped for about 15 minutes between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. today and Friday.

Beginning at 7 a.m. today, the outside lane of I-85 north will be closed for grading until 1 p.m. Then, pacing is set for five times a night between 11:30 p.m. today and 5 a.m. Thursday on I-85 southbound. Crews will work to set beams for the Old Norcross bridge over the interstate.

The pacing will continue at 11:30 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday and then again at 11:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday.