Workers to pour all I-85 bridge decks by the end of this week

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 the 61 beams that will support the highway.

What's the latest: On Monday GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said he's confident the bridge will be done before May 26 – weeks ahead of the original June 15 target.

In the last week, C.W. Matthews has poured concrete decks for four of the six bridge spans under construction. GDOT Construction Director Marc Mastronardi expects the others to be done by the end of the week.

What's next: The deck concrete may need several days to set. When it's done, workers will groove the pavement, pour concrete side barriers and stripe the new pavement.