The new bridge on Post Road over Dog River was opened to traffic Thursday evening.
Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) closed the bridge on Oct. 16, 2020.
GDOT initially estimated it would take six months to construct a new bridge, with an estimated opening in April. However, the project wound up taking nine months.
GDOT held a final inspection on Wednesday with Douglas County Department of Transportation staff in attendance, county spokesman Rick Martin said in a release. Martin said both agencies “determined that the bridge could be reopened.”
DCDOT Director Miguel Valentin said that while the bridge is now open, there are still a few items left to complete.
“There will still be a need for periodic lane closures in the next few weeks for the contractor to perform final punch list items,” Valentin said.
During the nine months of construction, residents in southwest Douglas were forced to detour around the work, making the trip to and from Interstate 20 longer than usual.
The news from the county late Thursday afternoon that the bridge was reopening had reached more than 10,000 people on the Sentinel Facebook page by Friday afternoon. Those who commented expressed excitement and relief.
Sarah Hallman wrote, “Finally!! Woohoo!!”
“Happy to hear this. Great timing just before school begins,” Stephanie Bigelow wrote.
Marie Howard wrote: “Happy Day!!”