Gov. Deal to speak about I-85 reconstruction progress

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal will be speaking Wednesday morning about the reconstruction progress of the Interstate 85 overpass.

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the State Capitol, where Governor Deal will be joined by Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry and State Transportation Board Chairman Robert Brown, Jr.

On March 31, a massive fire underneath the I-85 bridge over Piedmont Road caused a portion of the interstate to collapse. The damage was so extensive that crews had to repair the interstate in both directions.

PHOTOS: I-85 fire and overpass collapse

Demolition began almost immediately with a tab just calculated at $1.6 million, according to Marc Mastronardi, the Director of Construction for the DOT. He said the cost to rebuild and re-pave the 750 feet of interstate overpass is $11.9 million. Coupled with $3 million in incentives, Mastronardi said the final cost will be approximately $16 million, which includes support from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

RELATED: Gov. Deal declares state of emergency following I-85 fire

Last week, transportation officials said the I-85 overpass will reopen before the busy Memorial Day weekend. It was originally scheduled to reopen by June 15.

MORE: I-85 to reopen before Memorial Day

While it is hard to put a price tag on the toll this project has taken on commuters who have learned to sit through and maneuver around the closed section of interstate, DOT officials promise the end is near.

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