The opening relieved many store owners in the center who had seen their sales numbers languish in the past few months because of the restricted access during the bridge's closure.
Doug Hines, owner of the center's Quiznos sandwich shop, said he had a full dining room on Monday at lunch, something he didn't expect, especially on a holiday.
"I'm glad they got it open when they did," Hines said. "Our sales were hurting, but now we had a full dining room today."
The project was completed in plenty of time for store owners concerned about Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23 this year, marking the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
The one-lane bridge was closed for about three months to widen it to two lanes and add a pedestrian walkway. The bridge has been a source of constant complaints since the shopping center opened about 15 years ago.
The one-land bridge had a five-ton weight limit, but Coleman said tractor-trailers will be able to use the new bridge to make deliveries, no matter how much weight they're carrying.
Shopping center businesses and customers have complained about the backed-up traffic at both entrances to the center, because of the bridge construction and nearby Georgia Department of Transportation widening of the U.S. 27 overpass, crossing the Highway 166 bypass just beyond the shopping center.
The $6 million overpass project is not due for completion until next November, according to GDOT officials. It will be designed to reduce congestion at the intersection by adding additional turn lanes onto the bypass.
McIntosh Plaza has several high-profile retail stores including Target, Belk and Publix. Some owners have complained that the backups on U.S. 27 from the construction work are causing customers to avoid the center.
"It's so bad that people don't like coming into the center," Hines said last month. "My sales are down a good 10 to 15 percent. People are saying it takes them 15 minutes to get from Clinic Drive to the shopping center. The average person has only an hour for lunch, so they don't have time for that."