I-85 incentives could lead to bonuses for other projects

One word: Incentives.

Now that the incentive program used to re-open the I-85 bridge has been deemed a success, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) says it's considering using that tool in the future.

The state is shelling out more than $3 million in incentives to the contractors of the I-85 bridge. It's an idea that has been used in other states that suffered similar bridge collapses. This week, GDOT's commissioner said you might be seeing more of them in the future.

"I think this gives us a good business case to look at probably deploying more incentives," said GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry.

The state has long used disincentives or penalties for contractors that don't complete the work in time. But they've never really experimented with giving out bonuses for finishing early.

The I-75 express lanes in the Northwest Corridor have been under construction for the last 2 and a half years. Now GDOT is telling us they're using an incentive project, similar to what was used for the I-85 bridge, to build the nearly 30 mile express lanes.

"Those (projects) have a built-in incentive because the contractor is actually financing part of that project. So it incentivizes contractors to get done even sooner," McMurry said. 

The state is shelling out more than $3 million in incentives to the contractors of the I-85 bridge. It's an idea that has been used in other states that suffered similar bridge collapses.

This week GDOT's commissioner told us you might be seeing more of them in the future.

"I think this gives us a good business case to look at probably deploying more incentives," said GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry.

Another lesson learned included those steel beams. Normally, they're constructed on-site which might be convenient but it takes longer.

This time, crews built the steel beams in another location and then shipped them to the bridge - granted they had 24 hour 7 day a week escorts from Georgia State Patrol. But leaders still believe that might be a viable option in the future.

"We'll continue to look for innovation and lessons learned from this event," McMurry said.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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