A stretch of busy highway in Georgia has been reopened after the demolition of a bridge damaged in a dump truck crash went more smoothly than expected.
The crash that damaged the overpass to the point that demolition was necessary happened on Thursday, July 15th on Interstate 16 near Marietta, Georgia.
“Apparently, the tractor-trailer has a dump bed similar to a dump truck,” said Russell McMurry, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. “It appears that it was raised, which then struck the bridge,” an incident that knocked the overpass off of its support beams.
11:00 AM I-16 📰— GDOT East Traffic (@GDOTEastTraffic) July 16, 2021
⏹The I-16 bridge was completely demolished last night.
⏹Debris is still being removed and all work must be completed before any lanes can be reopened.
⏹We expect to reopen at least one lane WB by this afternoon. @GADeptofTrans pic.twitter.com/bquL0iLO40
The incident forced the closure of a portion of I-16 as crews worked to make the roadway safe again by demolishing the overpass entirely with a plan to rebuild it later. This project closed the highway in both directions starting Thursday night and stretching into the weekend, forcing traffic to detour through some nearby small towns. The interstate was not expected to reopen fully until later this week, but officials say they are pleasantly surprised at the efficient work completed by the crew.
“I-16 is now open in both directions,” the Georgia Department of Public Safety reported to ABC 22.
“Really, this team is getting it done a lot quicker than we ever thought it would,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who flew to the site by helicopter to speak publicly about the project.
I-16 bridge July 16 morning update…— GDOT East Traffic (@GDOTEastTraffic) July 16, 2021
The bridge span demolished as of 2:15 a.m. Debris has been separated and hauling to commence shortly.
More images in thread below ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/WHjRGiARZS