Road to Recovery: Workers to begin pouring new I-85 bridge deck

Since a fire led to the collapse of a segment of I-85 in Buckhead March 30, the Georgia Department of Transportation has scrambled to reopen the vital stretch of highway into the heart of Atlanta. Here’s the latest construction update on a project that affects hundreds of thousands of commuters.

The work: Contractor C.W. Matthews is rebuilding 350 feet of northbound and 350 feet of southbound lanes on I-85. GDOT has set a target completion date of June 15 but has provided financial incentives for the company to finish by May 21 or May 25.

What's done: The contractor completed demolition of the old bridge and began building a new one within a few days of its collapse. It has shored up the existing 13 bridge columns and laid beams that will support the highway.

What's the latest: GDOT Construction Director Marc Mastronardi said all 61 beams needed to support the bridge deck were to be in place Tuesday night. The contractor also was to set deck spans for five of the six bridge spans and install reinforced steel ties on two of the six deck spans.

Mastronardi also unveiled the maximum cost of the bridge: $16.6 million. The federal government is expected to pay 90 percent of the cost.

What's next: Mastronardi said he expected the company to begin pouring the deck for the first of the six spans Wednesday night.