ATLANTA -- There are two big questions on Friday night: How long will it take to fully repair i-85 and when will our lives return to normal?
Unfortunately, those are two questions that don’t have simple answers. But we do have a better understanding of the process that will happen moving forward.
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Just steps from the site of the I-85 bridge collapse, work is well underway to demolish and rebuild this major traffic artery.
“I’m even hearing that, early next week, they’re going to start casting some of the beams which is very quick,” structural engineer Tim Schmitz said.
Schmitz has been an engineer for the last 30 years. He says the demolition, casting of the beams, and evaluation of the underground structure will take the most time.
“In this particular case, it’s going to be a design from scratch,” Schmitz said.
Three spans and 350 feet on both the north and southbound sides will be demolished and replaced.
But traffic is out of the way. And with all the resources on the table, Schmitz says crews will likely work around the clock until it’s complete.
“We could be looking at 60 to 90 days, at least; somewhere in that area is what I expect,” Schmitz said.
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For now, those who live and work nearby will have to be patient.
Trey Vibes, lives near collapse.
“Bruh, hell yeah, that’s an inconvenience man,” Vibes said. “It’s like everywhere there’s traffic every single back road you can’t go nowhere so it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
David Zapata also lives nearby.
“Atlanta’s already a pretty congested place and to have this happen is potentially devastating,” he said. “But hopefully something good will come out of it.”
In the meantime, patience is a virtue.
Demolition will continue into Monday. That engineer 11Alive spoke to said he has worked with the contractor, the engineers and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
He said the best of the best are on this project.
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