Tags: i-85 | reopening | atlanta | fire

I-85 Reopening After Inferno, Thanks to Fast-Drying Concrete

Image: I-85 Reopening After Inferno, Thanks to Fast-Drying Concrete

By    |   Thursday, 11 May 2017 08:24 AM

Atlanta's I-85 will reopen this weekend, a full month ahead of schedule, after a fire reportedly caused by a homeless man closed the national travel artery on March 30.

That section of I-85 carries nearly 243,000 vehicles each day under normal circumstances.

Construction crews have rushed to finish the damaged freeway on which the lanes collapsed during the blaze that spread to construction materials, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia Department of Transportation commissioner Russell McMurry told a news conference on Wednesday that the northbound lanes will likely open Saturday and the southbound lanes Sunday.

"It's definitely pressure on the whole team from the standpoint that we know how important this project is for the whole community, for the whole area, so from that regard, it has been," Dan Garcia, president of contractor C.W. Matthews, told WSB-TV.

C.W. Matthews could make more than $3 million in incentives if the freeway's bridge reopens by Monday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation estimated the total cost of the project, including extra cost for law enforcement and traffic control, at $16.6 million in April. The agency said the federal government would pay for 90 percent of the project and had released $10 million in emergency funds last month.

The construction company told WXIA-TV that it used a concrete mixture that cures or strengthens quicker.

"Everything on this is as safe as on any other project if not more," said Garcia.

"While this situation has been a tremendous challenge, the response from the people of Georgia has been nothing less than remarkable," Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said on Wednesday. "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."

"We knew that the closure of the corridor would have a major impact on local and regional travel," said McMurry. "We have been laser-focused not only on rapid construction, but also on safety and efficiency."

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Atlanta's I-85 will reopen this weekend, a full month ahead of schedule, after a fire reportedly caused by a homeless man closed the national travel artery on March 30.
i-85, reopening, atlanta, fire
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2017-24-11
Thursday, 11 May 2017 08:24 AM
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