State offers $3.1 million incentive to finish I-85 bridge early

The contractor rebuilding the I-85 bridge in Atlanta could earn up to $3.1 million extra for finishing the project early.

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Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry Wednesday announced contractor C.W. Matthews can earn an extra $1.5 million for completing the project by May 25 – three weeks earlier than the target June 15 completion date. The contractor could earn $2 million for completing it by May 21 and $200,000 for each day before that, up to a total of $3.1 million.

Sen. David Perdue toured the I-85 bridge collapse site with GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry. Video by John Spink/AJC (

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McMurry said everything would have to go right – including the weather – for the contractor to earn the full incentive. But he said the incentive package shows the state is “very serious about getting this road back open so people can get on with their lives.”

McMurry toured the site of the bridge collapse Wednesday with Sen. David Perdue. The commissioner said the total cost of rebuilding the bridge remains “dynamic,” and offered no price tag. But the federal government is expected to pay most of the cost.

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