North Fulton County

‘Critically’ damaged bridge over I-285 to remain closed through summer 2024, GDOT says

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A bridge over I-285 will stay closed for months after a truck hit the overpass and damaged the support beams.

The Mt. Vernon Highway Bridge will stay closed, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation, having suffered “critical” damage Wednesday.

GDOT inspectors determined five of the bridge’s six beams would need replacement in order to fully repair the damage.

Fixing the damages is expected to take months, according to GDOT.

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Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was live near the bridge to learn more about how the closure is impacting traffic on the highway section near Roswell Road.

Workers are on-site at the damaged bridge, working on preparing the location and surveying how the damage will impact the I-285 Auxiliary Lane project, which had already been planned.

Part of that construction plan includes a full replacement of the bridge, which was built in 1962, according to a statement from GDOT.

While drivers are likely unhappy to be stuck in extra traffic, homeowners living nearby told Channel 2 Action News they’re happy, saying it’s never been so quiet.

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“LOL, it’s less traffic, we have like an instantaneous cul de sac, which is nice,” Louis Tesser, who lives nearby, told Channel 2 Action News.

Tesser lives on Mt. Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs. He said the road is normally noisy and congested with traffic most of the day.

Since the truck accident Wednesday afternoon, where a truck and its equipment crashed into the bridge, it’s been quieter.

GDOT immediately shut the road down, and all lanes of I-285 were closed, as they assessed the damage.

“Apparently my neighbor actually heard it happen, so I think it was a pretty big hit,” Tesser said. “He just said he heard it and felt it.”

A department spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News Friday that an exact timeline on reopening wasn’t available yet since they’re not able to get the materials they need right away.

Tesser urged other drivers and neighbors to be patient because both projects, repairing the bridge and the I-285 Auxiliary Lane Project, are important.

“It’s ok with me that the bridge is closed, because less traffic,” Tesser said.

Early estimates for repair completion from GDOT say they expect the Mt. Vernon bridge to reopen to traffic in Summer 2024, but they’re still working with contractors to see what options they have and if they can move the timeline up.

“Safety of the traveling public is paramount in all Georgia DOT decisions, said in a statement. “Upon reviewing a timeline for repairs, including material availability, the department determined the Mt. Vernon bridge will not reopen to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.”

The new bridge that was already under construction is set to be finished by next summer. Channel 2 Action News will stay in close contact with GDOT to make sure we can let you know when the highway will open up again.

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