Damaged section of I-85 in Atlanta to reopen Monday

In this aerial image made from a video provided by WSB-TV, a large fire that caused an overpass on Interstate 85 to collapse burns in Atlanta, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity. Minutes later, the bridge collapsed. (WSB-TV via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, ATLANTA TV OUT

ATLANTA (WSPA) – Georgia’s governor says a collapsed section of Interstate 85 in Atlanta will reopen on Monday. That’s a month ahead of schedule.

Governor Nathan Deal’s office said Wednesday that the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 85 over Piedmont Road will be open to traffic before the morning rush hour on May 15. That bridge section collapsed from an intense fire on March 30.

The original projected date to reopen that section of I-85 was June 15.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says nearly 243,000 vehicles use that section of the interstate during a normal day.

“We have been laser-focused not only on rapid construction, but also on safety and efficiency,” said GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry in a written statement. “Six weeks is an amazingly short timeframe to complete this project. At the same time, it is probably the most inspected, most scrutinized construction project Georgia DOT has ever undertaken, with our inspectors working on site around the clock.”

GDOT says as many as eight inspectors have been on the construction site at one time during the work. GDOT also says opening the interstate five weeks early will save the state some $27 million in construction costs.

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Governor Nathan Deal’s office said Wednesday that the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 85 over Piedmont Road will be open to traffic before the morning rush hour on May 15. (Photo courtesy GDOT)

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