A new Columbia Road bridge that was under construction for more than a year opened to traffic Wednesday.
The .675-mile bridge stretches from Maple Creek Drive on Columbia Road east over Crawford Creek.
The old bridge was built in 1948 and was found to not meet standards allowing it to hold as much weight as truckers are legally allowed to carry, said Vonda Everett, a Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
Inspection crews go out every two years to inspect bridges to make sure they can handle the weight and traffic load of the road.
"A lot of truck drivers have to go around," Everett said. "When we find a bridge like that, we put it on the program to be replaced unless it can be upgraded in some way. ... Usually it is easier to replace them."
Construction on the $3.28 million bridge began in May 2005 and site work will continue until the end of July and possibly into August, Everett said.
"In the next couple of weeks or so, they'll be demolishing the old bridge and old roadway over there and fixing up the side of the road," Everett said.
The Columbia Road bridge is one of many projects recently completed or near completion, including the widening of Furys Ferry Road.
More projects in the area, such as improvements to Davis Road at Walton Way and the Interstate 20 interchange project, are not far off, Everett said.
"We're so excited," Everett said. "Several projects are about to be completed. And there is so much more coming our way over there in Columbia County and Augusta."
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