Curbed Atlanta says it best in its update on the I-85 bridge repair: "It’s amazing what eight weeks and $16.6 million can do."
The closed section of Interstate 85 in Buckhead will be usable much earlier than originally anticipated. GDOT announced Tuesday that the 12 lanes closed since the March 30 bridge fire will be opened by the start of the Memorial Day travel weekend on May 26.
“Our goal was to get I-85 back open to the people of Georgia as quickly as we could, and to do so we offered incentives for early completion," said Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, P.E. "If work is able to continue at the rate it's been going, I have every confidence that project contractor C.W. Matthews will be able to meet, if not beat, the new target date."
If the project is completed by May 25, C.W. Matthews will receive an additional $1.5 million. If completed by May 21, they will receive $2 million and an additional $200,000 for each day completed before May 21; up to a maximum of $3.1 million."
Since April 25, concrete on four of the six decks have been poured ,with the northbound travel lanes already complete.
“From the ability to quickly procure the construction materials needed, to the availability of work crews and good weather conditions, we’ve been fortunate to be dealing with best case scenarios throughout this whole project,” said Marc Mastronardi, Georgia DOT director of construction.
Looking ahead in the process, once all six of the decks have been in place for three days, the concrete barrier sides can be poured, the grinding and grooving of the roadway surface for enhanced safety can begin, joints can be sealed and striping can be applied on both northbound and southbound sides of the roadway.
Comprehensive information regarding the I-85 bridge rebuild can be found at www.I85rebuild.org.