Price tag for new I-85 bridge: Up to $16.6 million


Rebuilding a collapsed section of I-85 in Atlanta will cost taxpayers up to $16.6 million, state officials said Tuesday.

And though the Georgia Department of Transportation officials have not announced a new timetable for completing the project, they say construction is going so it’s likely be done before the official June 15 completion date.

IN-DEPTH: Is MARTA ready for its close-up after bridge collapse?

EXCLUSIVE: Who is to blame for I-85 collapse?

“June 15 is the latest this bridge gets completed,” GDOT construction director Marc Mastronardi said at a press conference.

Tuesday’s announcements provided more clarity to a project that has beguiled metro Atlanta commuters since one of their main highways into the city went up in flames March 30.

Basil Eleby, a homeless man, has been accused of setting the fire that caused the northbound lanes near Piedmont Road to collapse and irreparably damaged the southbound lanes. Others say GDOT itself — which stored construction material under the roadway that fueled the blaze — is also responsible for the highway’s closure.

Mastronardi said the $16.6 million is the maximum the bridge will cost. He said construction of the new bridge will cost about $11.9 million, while demolition of the old one cost $1.6 million. The estimate also includes incentives of up to $3.1 million for contractor C.W. Matthews to complete the work before June 15.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has already provided $10 million toward the cost of the project. Mastronardi said the federal government ultimately will cover 90 percent of the cost of the bridge.

Since the fire, contractor C.W. Matthews has worked round-the-clock to demolish and rebuild 350 feet of highway in each direction. For the contractor to get the full incentive, the work would have to be done by May 15.

Mastronardi said it’s hard to say how far in advance of June 15 the work is likely to be done.

“In terms of progress, we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

By the end of Tuesday, the contractor was expected to place all 61 beams required to support the new bridge deck. It also was prepared to set deck spans for five of the six bridge spans and install reinforced steel ties on two of the six deck spans.

Mastronardi said he expected the company to begin pouring the deck for the first of the six spans Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, work has begun on repaving a 6.6-mile stretch of I-85 from I-75 to Clairmont Road. That $22.9 million project won’t be finished until next February. But Mastronardi said some of the most intensive work will be done while that stretch of I-85 is closed for the bridge construction.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Atlanta police officer hits car while responding to 911 call
Atlanta police officer hits car while responding to 911 call

An Atlanta police officer and another driver were injured Thursday after the officer hit the car while she was responding to a 911 call, according to Channel 2 Action News. State troopers are investigating the crash, which occurred about 1 a.m. in front of a funeral home on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard near Peeples Street. It’s unclear if...
JUST IN: Man shot, killed with children in car in possible case of road rage
JUST IN: Man shot, killed with children in car in possible case of road rage

A man was shot and killed early Thursday in a possible case of road rage in DeKalb County, police said. Investigators are at the entrance of the Brighton Village subdivision on Flat Shoals Road, where the man’s body was found in a car after at least three shots were fired. The DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office is on the scene, ...
East Point hosts small business development workshop
East Point hosts small business development workshop

East Point’s Department of Economic Development invites small business owners to the “Small Business Incentive Listen & Learn” workshop. The event will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Impact Church, 2323 Sylvan Road in East Point. The East Point Small Business Incentive Program is designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs...
Decatur police force to begin carrying Tasers next month
Decatur police force to begin carrying Tasers next month

Sometime in March Decatur’s police force will add electronic control devices, or Tasers, into their weapon repertoire. According to Police Chief Mike Booker, Tasers fill the gap between firearms and oleoresin vapsicum pepper spray. “For a number of reasons there are more people on the street with mental illness,” Booker said. &ldquo...
Community garden in Snellville receives $500 grant
Community garden in Snellville receives $500 grant

For the third consecutive year the ‘Community Garden @ Snellville’ has been awarded a grant from the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association. The $500 grant will help support the garden’s greenhouse operations with the purchase of supplies, including pots, potting soil, organic fertilizer, rooting hormone and vegetable and flower...
More Stories