The Orchard Road bridge over I-285 in Cobb County will soon be torn down so that a new bridge can be built in its stead.
The bridge located 3 miles southeast of Smyrna will be closed nearly all of next year — beginning Jan. 5 until the end of 2016, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The Orchard Road bridge passes over I-285 about a half-mile south of Exit 18 for Paces Ferry Rd/Vinings.
The plain-looking concrete and steel structure built in 1968 is being demolished so that a longer one can be constructed. Cobb County is constructing an auxiliary lane along I-285 between Paces Ferry and Atlanta roads to help improve traffic at the two busy interchanges. And the newer, longer Orchard Road bridge will need to pass over the interstate plus the additional lane.
Traffic will be detoured starting at two intersections: Orchard Road and Cumberland Parkway; and Orchard Road and Paces Ferry Road.
Motorists will travel on Cumberland Parkway or Paces Ferry Road to access either side of Orchard Road. Detour signs will be up to help motorists navigate around the closure.
GDOT is advising motorists to drive cautiously through the area, because workers and heavy equipment will be stationed close to the road.