Timely Interstate 85 reopening turns on nimble Standard Concrete Products

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao joined Georgia Governor Nathan Deal late last month to mark the earlier than projected completion of an emergency Georgia Department of Transportation contract, Interstate 85 over Piedmont Road Bridges, in Atlanta. A pre-Memorial Day ribbon cutting below the crossing hinged on reconstruction work attributable to rapid delivery of 61 precast/prestressed concrete bridge beams from Columbus, Ga.-based Standard Concrete Products.

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 the 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. Each one of them represents America’s best.”

PHOTOS: Georgia Department of Transportation

In “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 the 40-ton bulb-tees dispatched from company’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. Opening of the 700-ft. bridge and roadway section occurred five weeks earlier than Georgia DOT’s original completion commitment, and positioned general contractor, C.W. Mathews Contracting Co. of Marietta, Ga., 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 girders on 24/7 schedules.