ALDOT continues work to repair I-85 bridge damaged in crash - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ALDOT continues work to repair I-85 bridge damaged in crash

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MACON CO., AL (WSFA) -

The work is dangerous, dirty, and for the moment time-consuming. It was five days ago when the driver of a truck somehow lost control in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85, drove down the embankment between the two bridges, and struck one of the concrete pillars supporting the bridge in the northbound lanes of 85.

Brantley Kirk, the Alabama Department of Transportation spokeswoman for the region, explained it's much more than rebuilding the column. Highway crews must also reconstruct the so-called bridge cap that sits on top of the concrete pillar. That cap absorbs the traffic weight. 

"And on that top you have pedestals and on the pedestals is where they place the girders. The girders are where they pour the concrete on top of it, so the cap transfers that load basically from the bridge down to the cap to the ground," Kirk explained of the process.

Still unclear as of Wednesday evening is how much all of this will cost, because this is considered an emergency project, especially when you consider the daily traffic count is more than 40,000 vehicles.

The cold weather this week is hampering the work, to a certain degree, because there is new concrete involved. That means ALDOT doesn't have a completion date just yet.

"The cold snap limits the work in the evening hours," Kirk stated.

Until then, this part of I-85 near the Tallassee exit will remain one lane until further notice, driving home the need for patience. ALDOT officials encourage motorists to consider a detour, exit 22 which is the Shorter exit and Highway 80.

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