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Crews to begin taking down Ga. 324 bridge over I-85

Photo: David McGregor . Workers from Rogers Bridge Company move a large crane across the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 at Ga. Highway 324 as the demolition of the old bridge continued on Monday morning.

Photo: David McGregor . Workers from Rogers Bridge Company move a large crane across the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 at Ga. Highway 324 as the demolition of the old bridge continued on Monday morning.

BUFORD -- After months of watching a bridge go up, now commuters will see one come down.

Crews will begin work Tuesday night to demolish the Ga. Highway 324 bridge over Interstate 85, after traffic shifted to new lanes that went up earlier this year.

It's a big milestone for the long-awaited $11.2 million widening, which came years after the highway's capacity was doubled on both sides of the bridge.

A crane was moved into place Monday, so the bridge could come down this week. That is, if the weather cooperates.

While the bridge widening is sure to improve traffic on Ga. 324, it is the traffic on I-85 that will feel the effect this week. One southbound lane of the interstate will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the job, and traffic must be paced Wednesday and Thursday so the pieces can be removed.

"State Route 324 traffic will not be impacted at all," said district construction engineer Randall Davis of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Weather permitting, a similar schedule will be followed next week, this time with an impact on I-85 nortbound.

Crews from Strickland and Sons Pipeline are about two-thirds done with the project. It is scheduled to be completed next summer.