Officials provide updates on I-85 bridge collapse, investigation
Christine Fonville 11 hrs ago Comments
During a 12:30 p.m. press conference today, Russell R. McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation; Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety; Joel Baker, Fire Chief of the City of Atlanta Fire Department; Keith Parker, CEO of MARTA and Chris Tomlinson, Executive Director of GRTA/SRTA addressed the media and public with updates about the investigation into the I-85 bridge collapse and what commuters can expect going forward. The following is information released at the conference:
-About 700 ft of the bridge will need to rebuilt. This includes about 350 ft on the northbound side and 350 ft on the southbound side. McMurry said the project will take “several months.”
-According to McMurry, the materials stored under the bridge were “common construction products, conduit and PVC plastic.” He emphasized that the materials were noncombustible and had been stored in that area since around 2006. McMurry also stated that “it is not an uncommon practice to store [those materials] under bridges.
-When asked why the materials got hot enough to cause the bridge to collapse, Baker responded, “it was due to the amount of materials involved, which generated a lot of heat.”
Neighbor News Online Updates
-McDonough said there would be no way to “produce detours on city streets,” and that drivers need to start planning alternate routes to avoid I-85. He described the current traffic plan as, “simple: use I-285.”
-MARTA ridership has seen a 25 percent surge and there has been an 80 percent increase in sales which Parker noted is proof that people are “preparing to find alternate transportation methods.” MARTA extended more trains this morning and will increase the amount of service they run during the weekends. Parker also said that Park-n-Ride lots are filling up in and around metro-Atlanta.
Check back with Neighbor News Online for more updates.
That’s one hell of a way to get people in Georgia to give up driving, collapse the bridges.