Gwinnett congressmen praise GDOT’s I-85 response after site visit
Local congressmen praised Georgia Department of Transportation officials for their work to quickly rebuild and re-open Interstate 85 in Atlanta after a tour of the construction site on Friday.
Two of Gwinnett’s three U.S. representatives, Hank Johnson and Rob Woodall, visited the site with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., to get an in-person look at how the rebuilding work is going. Johnson and Woodall are members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.
“The I-85 bridge rebuild is an example of what could be happening across our nation to improve our infrastructure and put people to work with good paying jobs, which helps invigorate our economy,” Johnson, D-Ga., said. “It is great to see Georgians out here working and getting the job done.”
Woodall, R-Ga., wrote on Facebook after the visit: “I’m very encouraged by the progress being made already. The incredible work began, however, literally moments after the fire broke out with our first responders acting quickly and heroically.”
The tour came days after state officials announced they would offer the company that rebuilding the bridge up to $3.1 million to get the interstate re-built and re-opened by as early as May 21 — or possibly sooner. GDOT officials had previously said they wanted to get the interstate re-opened by June 15.
After Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., visited the site on Wednesday, GDOT said the columns for the new bridge had been poured and construction crews were working on the bridge caps. They also said at the time that one-third of the 61 beams needed for bridge had already been made.
“We hope that the next time we invite you all, we will be cutting the ribbon on the re-opening of this section of the interstate,” Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said in a statement released by Johnson’s office.
“This critical project has been all hands on deck since the beginning. It is really important for us to get this interstate open as soon as possible.”