Bridge widening begins

LAWRENCEVILLE - Finally, the bottleneck bridge on Ga. Highway 324 will be widened to match the road on both sides.

Construction begins today on the widening of the route, also known as Gravel Springs Road, which was delayed by a state financial crisis when county officials began the widening of the road on both sides of the bridge.

The project is being revived with $11.2 million in stimulus funding, members of the Georgia Department of Transportation said in announcing the commencement of the project.

"Crews are mobilizing (Monday). You will see equipment arriving along the roadway. (This) morning if weather allows, about 8 a.m. clearing will begin in the project area," said DOT District Engineer Russell McMurry. "Early on in the construction process there will not be any lane closures but we do expect delays from people watching the work occur."

The contractor for the 0.8-mile stretch - Strickland and Sons Pipeline Inc. of Gainesville - is expected to complete the project by the end of May 2012.