Repairing the portion of Interstate 85 that collapsed yesterday following a fire beneath an elevated section of the roadway will likely take months, officials said today.
“Despite our coordinated efforts, this will be a long process,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release. “This is due, in part, to the fact that bridge beams must be cast, poured, tested, transported and individually installed. During this time, public safety is our chief priority and primary concern. With your help, we will be better able to ensure the safety of motorists, travelers, first responders and construction crews.”
The assessment is hardly a surprise. The section of highway sees more than 220,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
Until the highway is repaired and reopened, motorists who normally use the thoroughfare will be forced to use already crowded alternate routes.
“This is as serious a transportation crisis as we could have. The governor has been leading and we have been acting on it,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as saying. “Our primary concern, first and most important, is that no one has lost their life. And as we stand here right now, we think that’s the situation.”
Amazingly, no one was injured in the collapse.