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Standard Concrete underpins timely I-85/Atlanta bridge reopening

Sources: Georgia Department of Transportation; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; CP staff

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao joined Georgia Governor Nathan Deal just ahead of Memorial Day weekend to mark the earlier than projected completion of an emergency Georgia DOT contract, Interstate 85 over Piedmont Road Bridges, in Atlanta. Fast track reconstruction turned on rapid delivery of precast/prestressed concrete bridge girders from Standard Concrete Products, Columbus, Ga.

Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, P.E. (left) and Governor Nathan Deal honor Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for her agency’s role in the project. In a nod to site and concrete plant crews, she noted, “The men and women who worked tirelessly to build this bridge have impressed the nation and earned our thanks.”

In a May 25 report, “How a concrete company saved Atlanta’s commute,” Standard Concrete Chief Executive Mason Lampton tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Kannell of fabrication and scheduling sequences behind 61 bulb-tee beams dispatched from the producer’s Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., plants. The I-85 Bridges over Piedmont Road carry nearly 250,000 vehicles daily, and reopened to traffic six weeks after a March 30 fire and collapse closed the corridor. Return of the 700-ft. bridge and roadway section to service occurred five weeks earlier than Georgia DOT’s original commitment, and positioned Marietta, Ga.-based lead contractor C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. for a bonus up to $3.1 million.

Among factors contributing to timely project execution, GDOT cites federal emergency relief streamlining, in part because the replacement was consistent with existing structure footprint, precluding requirements for lengthy federal review; accelerated concrete bridge deck curing methods; and, use of precast/prestressed concrete coupled with hauling permit provisions enabling delivery of the 40-ton bulb tees on 24/7 schedules.