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Meeting outlines detour, bridge work
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Transportation officials are holding a public information open house meeting to discuss the proposed detour necessary for reconstruction of the Hwy. 136 bridge over the Etowah River in Dawsonville.

The open house is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Dawson County school board's professional development center, at 30 Main Street in Dawsonville.

Georgia DOT engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project and detour details. There will be no formal presentation.

"The purpose of the open house is to present the project and the detour route to the community. We want you to know the status of the project and the detours that will occur during construction. Please come by and get the latest information on this bridge replacement project," said Bayne Smith, district engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The existing bridge was built in 1965 and does not meet current design standards. The bridge is 196 feet long, 26 feet wide and does not have shoulders. The new bridge will be 240 feet long and 40 feet wide, featuring 12 feet wide lanes and 8 feet wide shoulders.

Shoulders allow a safe place to move a vehicle out of the roadway if needed, according to transportation officials.

The detour will allow construction to move much faster and cost much less than if traffic continued to use the bridge while a parallel structure was built.

The detour is expected to be in place for about nine months. The proposed 10.8 mile long detour route, which will only utilize state routes.

After the meeting, project displays will be available at the Georgia DOT District Office located at 2505 Athens Highway in Gainesville.