Mt. Carmel/I-75 bridge closed for 9 months

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

One of the painful aspects for local motorists of the ongoing I-75 expansion through Henry County has arrived.

State officials announced last week that the planned closing of the Mt. Carmel Road bridge over I-75 is set to take place Sept. 8, weather permitting, so that construction of a new bridge can begin. That route across the expressway is expected to be closed for about nine months.

Motorists on the west side of I-75 going east on Mt. Carmel Road will detour at Mill Road, which runs north to Jonesboro Road and south to Hwy. 81. Those traveling west from downtown McDonough on Jonesboro Road will have to continue that way across I-75 and turn left on Mill Road to access Mt. Carmel Road.

During construction, Mt. Carmel Road will be closed to through traffic, but local traffic will be able to use the road to access neighborhoods.

According to state officials, the new bridge will include wider, 14-foot lanes and sidewalks to accommodate the construction of the new I-75 South Metro Express Lanes, which will travel under the bridge. The current bridge was built in 1957.

Appropriate signage is being installed throughout the area to alert motorists to the detours and changes in traffic. A project manager with the Georgia Department of Transportation said that local emergency personnel have also been notified.

Officials said removing the entire bridge and replacing it in nine months is actually the quickest option. If a single lane were left open during construction, the process would take about 15 months.

There will not be an access point to the I-75 South Metro Express Lanes at Mt. Carmel Road. In response to community feedback, the Express Lanes access point was moved from Mt. Carmel Road to Jonesboro Road, state officials said.