• FINAL COUNTDOWN: Crews begin striping lanes of I-85

    By: Aaron Diamant

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Work to repair a collapsed portion of Interstate 85 is in the home stretch.

    Crews began striping lanes of the bridge Tuesday morning. NewsChopper 2 was over the scene on Channel 2 Action News at Noon.

    Construction crews with contractor C.W. Matthews have been working around the clock for more than a month to repair the road after a fire caused part of the interstate to collapse.

    [I-85 BRIDGE COLLAPSE: Live traffic map, alternate routes, live video from construction site, more]

    “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,” C.W. Matthews President Dan Garcia told Channel 2's Aaron Diamant.

    Just 41 days after the collapse, the Georgia Department of Transportation said the work is 90 percent finished.

    Channel 2 Action News was the only TV crew that toured the site with state lawmakers Tuesday afternoon.

    “We’re very excited that it’s getting done so quickly,” state Rep Pat Gardner said. “It’s an amazing feat to watch, and it’s fun to be a part of it.”

     All six damaged spans have been replaced. Crews are now running through a shrinking to-do list.

    “Well, the progress has been exceptional,” GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurray said.

    GDOT said inspectors have been on-site the entire time to make sure the bridge is safe.

    On Tuesday, McMurray briefed the state House Transportation Committee on where things stand.


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    “We knew that we wanted to be very aggressive, but I think things have gone better than anybody really anticipated,” he said.

    C.W. Matthews stands to make more than $3 million in incentives should the bridge reopen by Monday. Neither the construction company nor GDOT will commit to that date just yet.

    The last publicly announced target date was May 25.

    Striping on I-85
    Striping on I-85

    “We’re definitely trying to get the job accomplished before then, and we feel like we might be able to do that,” Garcia said.

    “Our commitment is: As soon as it’s ready to open, it’s open,” McMurray said.

    Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to have an official construction update Wednesday morning. We will stream it live on WSBTV.com.

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