After bridge fire and I-85 collapse, Alabama offers guidance

March 30, 2017 Atlanta - Crew surveys the section of an overpass that collapsed from a fire on I-85 on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Fire officials extinguished a massive fire on I-85 on Thursday night after it burned for more than an hour and led to the collapse of a bridge on the interstate, fire officials said. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

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March 30, 2017 Atlanta - Crew surveys the section of an overpass that collapsed from a fire on I-85 on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Fire officials extinguished a massive fire on I-85 on Thursday night after it burned for more than an hour and led to the collapse of a bridge on the interstate, fire officials said. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The Alabama Department of Transportation knows what Georgia is going through. And they want to help.

Tony Harris, a spokesman for the Alabama agency, said his department called Georgia this morning to offer a hand as the state works to assess and repair a portion of I-85 that collapsed after a Thursday fire.

In 2004, Alabama repaired a bridge at a busy Birmingham interchange after a tanker truck crashed into it and it came down. They had repaired a bridge at the same location, where I-20 and I-59 cross over I-65, two years earlier after a similar incident.

“This morning, we’ve relayed word to the Georgia Department of Transportation to offer assistance,” Harris said. “We left phone messages to them.”

In both instances, Alabama repaired its bridges in just over a month.