I-85 northbound lanes reopen in Atlanta

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I-85 northbound lanes reopen in Atlanta

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Steve Schaefer
Cars drive over the recently opened northbound lanes of I-85 in Atlanta on Friday evening, May 12, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

The Georgia Department of Transportation has reopened the northbound lanes of I-85 in Atlanta.

The lanes opened about 7 p.m. Friday after workers finished the last preparations for opening those lanes. The southbound lanes are expected to open by Sunday.

The opening comes six weeks after I-85 burst into flames and collapsed near Piedmont Road. A homeless man, Basil Eleby, has been charged with setting the blaze. On Friday he asked the district attorney to drop the charges against him.

Since the March 30 collapse, I-85 has been closed in both directions from I-75 to Ga. 400. Contractor C.W. Matthews has worked around the clock since the collapse to rebuild the bridge – with a $3.1 million incentive for getting it done before the original June 15 completion date.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed lifted a ban on construction in the I-85 area.

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