Work is underway to set bridge beams on the new State Route 17 bridge near the Stephens-Franklin County line.
Georgia Department of Transportation Spokesperson Teri Pope says work started Wednesday to set the first five beams on the bridge that is just outside of Martin.
Pope said crews are set to put the next five beams in place Thursday, weather permitting.
“This is for the bridge that will eventually take State Route 17, the new widened road, over the Hartwell Railroad and existing State Route 17,” said Pope. “There are four sets of bridge beams, for a total of 20, that need to go in place.”
Pope said work is set to start take most of the day if all goes as planned and the weather cooperates.
She said the beams will be delivered one at a time to the bridge site.
“These are puzzle pieces,” said Pope. “They are custom fit for each location. They cannot fit anywhere else.”
Each of the pre-stressed concrete beams is 126 feet long and six feet tall.
Pope said they will be delivered via Interstate 85 and State Route 17 from the Lavonia exit.
Once a beam arrives at the site, Pope said motorists using that stretch of State Route 17 will experience some delays while part of the work takes place.
“There is not a whole lot of room in the area where this bridge is over the existing State Route 17,” said Pope. “As those beams come to the bridge area, we will be shutting down one lane of State Route 17 as the cranes move in to position, pick the beams up, and move them out of the way.”
She said those delays will be most likely be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Pope said the third and fourth sets of beams will be set on Friday and Saturday, if the weather cooperates.
This construction is part of the larger project to make Highway 17 a four-lane highway from Memorial Drive in Toccoa to the Stephens-Franklin County line.
Construction of the new, four-lane Highway 17 is scheduled to be complete by May 31, 2016.