This will infuriate Grand Strand commuters: Atlanta bridge will be done ...

posted by Ron -

I'm sure rebuilding a bridge comes with some "already done" tasks that just make the task much easier than building an overpass from scratch. Noted. That said, how on EARTH is it possible that the Interstate 85 overpass that famously collapsed after a massive blaze beneath it in metro Atlanta is going to re-open a little more than TWO MONTHS after it's demise?

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "State officials expect to reopen I-85 in Atlanta before May 26 — weeks ahead of their original schedule."

First, that's amazing; secondly, why's it taking YEARS to get overpasses erected here on 17 bypass on the South Strand?

Let's go back in time: it was March 31st, a Friday afternoon, when a section of northbound I-85 over Piedmont Road in northeast Atlanta collapsed after a fire was intentionally set beneath it. Days later, local officials realized they'd need to bring down the southbound section, too.

Fast-forward to May 1st, and state officials now fully anticipate the rebuild to be wrapped up on or before May 26th - five days ahead of the two month mark.  

How?

Turns out incentives get construction companies working harder and faster. Per the AJC

"It will earn an extra $1.5 million if it finishes the work by May 25 and an extra $2 million if it finishes by May 21. GDOT will pay C.W. Matthews an additional $200,000 for each day before May 21, up to a maximum incentive of $3.1 million."

That could drive the cost of the project up to more than $16 million. 

Can we start a collection or GoFundMe to let us all chip into incentives to get SC 707 and/or the Holmestown/Glenns Bay overpass done faster?  Who's with me?

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