ATLANTA -- In the days following the collapse of a major artery for traffic through metro Atlanta, we’ve learned that it will likely take months to rebuild the I-85 bridge, costing Atlanta drivers time and testing their patience.

The federal government has promised the state that they will offer $10 million toward repairs, but many of you have asked whether that will cover the cost.

11Alive’s Kaitlyn Ross went to a structural engineer, Time Schmitz, to find out. Schmitz said it comes down to the numbers.

“It's completely possible that the entire project could be finished in $10 million dollars,” he told 11Alive.

According to Schmitz’s reasoning, the I-85 bridge is 80-feet wide, and there's 700 feet of bridge. At 56,000 square feet, costing about $100 per square-foot, that's about $5.6 million. That's a little more than half of the amount that the federal government made available for the project.

While that number may sound optimistic, Schmitz admitted that he has not gotten to look at the contract, but says incentive pay could increase that number.

“Whenever you're working 12 hours a day or 24 hours a day, and you pull people off of other things, I'm sure there's an element to it that's more expensive, but I don't know how much that is,” he said.

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In a news conference Monday, Gov. Deal said he plans to use incentive programs to get the project done quicker. He also sent a letter to the federal government asking for more money for mass transportation.

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to hold a news conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. to take a deeper look in to exactly how much this is all going to cost, and where all that money is going. 11Alive will be there and will bring live coverage of the event.

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