DEKALB CO., Ga – While a bridge on I-85 will reopen less than two months after its collapse, work another bridge project involving a separate contractor will take almost a year longer than expected.
Work to rebuild the Flat Shoals Road bridge over I-285 started about two years ago. Curtis Allen says it has disrupted his weekly drive to church.
“I'm traveling two miles out of the way to get to church, and two miles extra on the way back,” says Allen. “You want the road to be widened, quite frankly, it's just the longevity of this project.”
A GDOT contractor is adding turn lanes, bike lanes, and widening the ramps to the overpass. When it all kicked off, GDOT gave the contractor until September of this year to finish. According to the GDOT website, the project is about 60-percent complete.
The delays are completely unrelated to the unprecedented amount of resources the state poured into the rebuilding of I-85.
“We've run into some unexpected utility conflicts, and that's what's pushed the project back,” says GDOT’s Natalie Dale.
The contractor had to ask for an extension when workers ran into underground utilities in places they didn't expect. GDOT has now given the contractor until July of 2018 to finish.
“It's not ideal for us in situations where we're trying to get a project completed on time, but it's not unheard of for unmarked utilities to delay a project,” says Dale.
After months getting caught in the snarl of traffic, orange cones, and heavy equipment, Curtis Allen is now finding alternate routes to church.