Weekly Updates From GDOT On I-85 Reconstruction

April 30, 2017

The Georgia Department of Transportation ("GDOT"), announced that the organization would host a weekly progress update on Monday afternoons at 3 p.m. The first press update was held on April 17, 2017, and will continue to advise the press of the progress of the project. Additionally, GDOT has published a website to allow anyone who is interested in following the progress of the I-85 reconstruction project to do so.

GDOT held the press conference to update the public on the status of the I-85 reconstruction on April 17, 2017, as scheduled. According to the media release issued by GDOT, construction contractors completed pouring caps on the columns. Construction crews have laid twenty iron beams across them to this point. On Tuesday, the concrete caps on the columns will be removed. Once that task is complete, then the substructure of the roadway will be in place. Additional beams will be put on the columns, and the crews will build the new road surface upon them.

GDOT's spokesman indicated in his news conference that he is pleased with the pace of the project. He also noted that a significant amount of intricate work has already been completed. The spokesperson was quick to note that GDOT is not compromising safety in favor of expediency. GDOT posts four safety managers on the project per shift. One of the ways GDOT and the construction contractor is able to expedite the work is to use an 800-foot crane instead of two, 150-foot cranes. The massive crane is set up once and does not need to be broken down or moved. Therefore, it was erected in one location and then has the ability to reach where it needs to when placing the support beams and other structures in place.

GDOT and its construction partners remain committed to re-opening the fallen bridge to traffic by June 15, 2017, as it first predicted according to the GDOT website. GDOT announced recently that it had offered the contractor rebuilding the bridge financial incentives to complete the project ahead of schedule. The contractor could receive as much as $3.1 million worth of incentives for completing the work as early as three weeks before the anticipated opening date.

The federal government is providing assistance with this reconstruction project. Additionally, the it pledged $10 million to help ease the financial burden on the state of Georgia. Furthermore, the federal government has indicated it will relax regulatory standards which will allow the project to proceed without undue delay. Without the relaxation of the federal regulations, the project would take several months longer to complete.

In the meantime, GDOT understands that commuters who would usually drive I-85 to their destination will experience longer travel times and alternate routes of travel with which they might not be familiar. GDOT reminds drivers to leave extra time, remain alert at all times, and try to be patient as GDOT diligently works to repair the damage caused by the March 30th fire and bridge collapse.

GDOT published several resources on its website to assist travelers who want to plan their trip. Among the resources posted on the site, commuters will find a highly detailed detour map, a list of road closures that is regularly updated, up-to-date real-time traffic information via 511, and a resource dedicated to finding alternate commuting options.

Sources: http://www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SpecialProjects/I85Bridge#tab-1
cited within and previous AJC.com articles.

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