Traffic shifts planned along I-85 northbound and southbound at the North Oconee River Bridge

press release from georgia department of transportation

Another milestone for the I-85 Widening, Phase III project with two new bridges complete

Commerce, GA – The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) and its construction partners announce upcoming traffic shifts along Interstate 85 (I-85) northbound and southbound over the North Oconee River, beginning Friday, February 16, weather permitting. This milestone follows the shift to the other new mainline bridges over Ridgeway Church Road, completed in November 2023.
Overnight on Friday, February 16, weather permitting, the existing two lanes of traffic on I-85 northbound will shift left to the new bridge between Mile Marker (MM) 144 and MM 145. The following evening, Saturday, February 17, crews will implement the same shift southbound, MM 145 to MM 144, moving the two lanes of traffic to the new travel lanes on the left.
Motorists may see overnight delays February 16 and 17, as crews implement traffic pacing in order to finalize the shifts.
These traffic shifts facilitate the next phase of I-85 mainline bridge construction over the North Oconee River, which will be performed as nighttime operations. Following these shifts, crews will proceed with the demolition and replacement of the old structures.
The I-85 Widening, Phase III project will improve mobility by widening the interstate from two to three lanes from US 129 to US 441 in Jackson and Banks counties, a heavily traveled corridor. This project will create additional capacity for more reliable travel times and more efficient movement of freight. Motorists should be advised that this work zone is 13 miles long with a reduced speed limit to maintain safety for contractors and motorists.
Additionally, the I-85 Widening, Phase III project sets the stage for the department’s long-range plan to widen I-85 to the South Carolina state line. More information on the I-85 Widening, Phase III project can be found at
More information about Georgia DOT’s Design-Build Program can be found at

Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs, and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike, and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability and mobility. The department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation.

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