I-85 To Reopen By Memorial Day Weekend

May 1,2017

Aggressive Timeline Facilitated by Construction Incentives

With work progressing quickly, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) provided an update on the I-85 bridge construction and resurfacing projects, and announced I-85 is expected to reopen to motorists by Memorial Day weekend. 

"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 

"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. "The progress is apparent, but there's still quite a bit of work that needs to be completed before the highway can be safely opened to the public." 

Since April 25, concrete on four of the six decks have been poured, with the northbound travel lanes already complete. 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.  

In an effort to plan ahead and to minimize further disruptions to the traveling public, the much needed resurfacing of 6.6 miles of I-85 from I-75 to Clairmont Road began on April 20. The milling and inlay of two paving layers on the northbound side within the closure and is nearly complete. Within the southbound closure, three of the five to six lanes have had the top two layers milled and inlayed. The resurfacing work within the rebuild closure has the potential to be completed by the time the I-85 bridge reopens. 

Comprehensive information regarding the I-85 bridge rebuild can be found at www.I85rebuild.org.  

Georgia DOT continues to remind motorists to plan ahead, seek alternative commuting options, allow plenty of time, be patient and always drive alert and keep calm behind the wheel. 

The following resources will help motorists plan their commutes:

Visit www.dot.ga.gov for the most up-to-date maps and information on road closures and alternate routes

Visit www.511ga.org or dial 511 for routing information or to speak to an operator who can assist

Visit Georgia Commute Options for additional resources and information about available cash incentives for using commute options

Visit www.itsmarta.com for MARTA routes and schedules

Visit www.xpressga.com for information on GRTA express routes 

The Atlanta Regional Commission is providing alternate route options to commercial vehicles and large trucks to help them get through the region. These types of vehicles are also encouraged to only travel through the metro area during overnight hours and to take advantage of I-285 to bypass the city.