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Atlanta Interstate Closes After Buckling

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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Just weeks after a fire destroyed an interstate highway overpass in Atlanta, another roadway challenge hit the city Monday (April 17) when I-20 buckled suddenly, sending a motorcyclist flying.

The westbound lanes of the highway between Candler Road and Gresham Road, in the southeastern corner of the city, buckled on Monday morning, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The incident was tentatively attributed to work being done on a gas line under the roadway at the time, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

A motorcyclist, said to have been thrown from his bike when the buckling occurred, was reportedly hospitalized with injuries.

Two lanes of the highway reopened by 4:30 Monday to accommodate evening rush-hour traffic.

Repair, Repave, Restripe

GDOT says work continued overnight Monday, including the removal and replacement of the pipe under the road. The stretch of interstate was repaved, and temporary striping was laid down by 6:30 a.m. in order to get all lanes open in time for the morning rush.

Workers laid down 63 cubic yards of concrete, which cured overnight, according to the agency.

I-20 reopened

The stretch of interstate was repaved Monday night, and temporary striping was laid down by 6:30 a.m. in order to get all lanes open in time for the morning rush.

“We wanted to open all lanes as soon as possible, so we used temporary tape to mark the lanes this morning,” said Kathy Zahul, metro area district engineer with GDOT. “Crews will return when traffic volumes are lower to place the permanent lane striping.”

The incident was at first blamed on a gas leak, but the utility working in the area, Atlanta Gas Light, said no natural gas was released. Local reports indicate that the pipe was no longer in use, but crews were working to fill it, and a pocket of air pressure built up to the point where the road rose up several feet.

I-85 Status

Atlanta is operating without one major interstate already, as I-85 remains closed in both directions between I-75 and state route 400, around the site of the March 30 fire that caused part of the highway to collapse.

According to GDOT, the substructure for the I-85 viaduct replacement in both directions was set to be finished Tuesday (April 18). The most recent update from the site indicated that 9.5 tons of steel and 530 cubic yards of concrete had been used on that project thus far. GDOT says crews are using an 800-ton crane, much larger than most in use, to place the spans to help speed the process.

Basil Eleby pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges of setting that fire.



Tagged categories: concrete; Concrete repair; Infrastructure; Roads/Highways

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