ATLANTA, GA, May 10, 2017 – The Post Reports – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced during a Wednesday Press Conference that the northbound and southbound lanes of the I-85 bridge over Piedmont Road are projected to open to traffic by morning rush hour on May 15.
“While this situation has been a tremendous challenge, the response from the people of Georgia has been nothing less than remarkable,” said Deal in a release. “It is extraordinary that in just six weeks, this critical piece of infrastructure is nearly ready to reopen for motorist use following the fire and bridge collapse.”
The Governor explained this high-traffic section of I-85 carries nearly 243,000 vehicles each day under normal circumstances. “GDOT has worked around the clock to rebuild sections of roadway in both directions and to reopen the corridor quickly and safely,” the release says. “GDOT estimates approximately $27 million in motorist savings by opening I-85 weeks ahead of original projections.
“We knew that the closure of the corridor would have a major impact on local and regional travel. We have been laser-focused not only on rapid construction, but also on safety and efficiency,” Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Commissioner Russell McMurry added in the release. “Six weeks is an amazingly short timeframe to complete this project. At the same time, it is probably the most inspected, most scrutinized construction project Georgia DOT has ever undertaken, with our inspectors working on site around the clock. We did our due diligence each day and every step of the way.”
To date, the Governor’s office explains GDOT has logged more than 3,500 man hours of on-site inspections, with as many as eight inspectors on-site at a time. Inspections include examining the fabricated steel beams off-site and inspecting them again for size and spacing on-site. Inspectors also sampled and tested the concrete before it was poured.
I-85 was closed on March 30 after a large fire occurred underneath the overpass.
A video of today’s announcement is available here.