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I-85 Bridge Collapse: First Responders Receive Presidential Commendation

April 24, 2017

President Donald Trump invited the first responders from the Atlanta area who bravely and decisively shut down I-85 to traffic while construction material burned below the ill-fated span. The meeting with the President comes one day after police and fire personnel received awards from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The President received the group of Atlanta firefighters, Atlanta police officers, as well as Georgia state patrol officers in the White House' Roosevelt Room. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. The first responders present greatly appreciated the President's kind words and support for first responders serving Atlanta as well as all across the country.

The President complimented each one of the 15 first responders who appeared in the White House for their individual acts of courage that saved an untold number of lives. The President marveled at the quick thinking and fast responses by the local and state police officers who made the command decision to stop motorists from driving anywhere near the fire. President Trump heaped praise on the firefighters as well. The President stood in awe over the bravery it took for the firefighters to approach walls of fire that extended 40 feet into the air.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was also in the meeting with President Trump and the first responders. She complimented the first responders on their rapid response time. The secretary also paid tribute to the construction crews who are working 24 hours a day to rebuild the fallen bridge. The President remarked that he was impressed with the speed of the response by police and fire but also that the reconstruction was under budget and ahead of schedule.

President Trump was quick to respond to the calamity himself. On the night of the fire, the President spoke with Governor Deal and pledged financial support in the sum of $10 million to help rebuild the Interstate. The President also promised his emotional support as well indicating that he stands by the people of Georgia during this trying time.

President Trump took the opportunity to point out the importance of infrastructure is to a community. The President understands that reliable infrastructure is vital to the financial stability and economic growth. The economic impact of the fire and collapse had on the city of Atlanta, and the metropolitan area will not be known for some time. The collapse has lead to an increase in construction work and employment of construction workers. However, many other businesses are adversely affected by the bridge failure.

Numerous businesses have been forced to deal with the bridge collapse. The unexpected situation tests the mettle of corporations and other business entities in the area. They will be tested on their flexibility by allowing their employees to telecommute or work off hours. If these businesses continue to be successful, then perhaps there will be a sea change as to how business is done in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

One company, Sweetwater Brewing Company, whose brewery is near the spot that collapsed, felt an immediate impact from the disaster. No trucks were able to enter or exit the facility in the two days after the fire. The brewery was forced to rework its shipment schedule to avoid traffic congestion so they could get their product to market. The brewery did not indicate how much revenue they lost as a result of the shipping delays.

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