ATLANTA – As contractors reach the home stretch on the rebuilding of I-85, one of the men overseeing the work says he has full confidence in the safety of the work.
“Can you guarantee the traveling public this bridge will be safe?” 11Alive Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes asked GDOT’s Jeremy Daniel.
“Absolutely,” Daniel answered.
GDOT has had as many as eight inspectors on sights as employees of contractor C.W. Matthews have worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the rebuild of Interstate 85.
Daniel is a construction liaison for GDOT. Part of his job is overseeing the inspectors who are watching the work.
There is the steel used to reinforce the bridge. Inspectors watch to make sure it is the right size and that it’s spaced properly. Materials have to come from approved sources.
Photos: Beams being put in place over I-85 collapse on April 19
In order to reopen the interstate as quickly as possible, C.W. Matthews is using a concrete mixture that cures,or strengthens, quicker.
“Does that impact safety?” Carnes asked Dan Garcia, President of C.W. Matthews.
“Not at all,” Garcia says. “Everything on this is as safe as on any other project if not more.”
Inspectors test the concrete before it's poured.
“We've probably run 150 concrete tests and taken 500 samples,” says Daniel. “That's how we make sure the concrete is satisfactory.”
Since the March 30th bridge collapse, contractors have finished installing new beams and columns, and last Friday poured the last section of concrete decking.
Crews now have to build the concrete barriers, then texture and stripe the surface.
The circumstance is extraordinary, but Daniel insists while the process may be on a fast-track, it's the same as with any other bridge construction.
“I'll be the first one to drive over it,” says Daniel.
Photos | Go inside the I-85 bridge reconstruction