While typical similar projects often use a pair of 150-ton (136 t) cranes, for efficiency and time savings, an 800-ton (725 t) crane — one of the largest around — is being used to set all the spans for I-85.
As work continues 24/7 on the I-85 rebuild, Marc Mastronardi, Georgia Department of Transportation director of construction, provided a status update for the project, which Georgia DOT has committed to completing and opening to traffic on or before June 15.
“This afternoon the contractor is completing the last cap pour,” said Mastronardi in a statement on April 17. “Twenty beams will be installed by midnight tonight on two of the project's six spans. These will be set on those spans in the furthest northern location in both directions. And by Tuesday, when the last cap forms are removed, the entire substructure — which provides support for the beams and the deck — will be complete.”
Caps are placed on top of columns and underneath bridge beams. The bridge deck spans are the individual decks resting on those caps, he explained.
While typical similar projects often use a pair of 150-ton (136 t) cranes, for efficiency and time savings, an 800-ton (725 t) crane — one of the largest around — is being used to set all the spans for I-85. The advantage of the larger crane is its reach — it can be set up once and place decks for several spans without having to be relocated, according to the manufacturer.
To date, 530 cu. yds. (405 cu m) of concrete have been poured and 9.5 tons (8.6 t) of steel have been placed. The next steps are survey work to finish deck elevations and the deck work itself. Construction will then progress south to set the remaining spans.
“A fair amount of very complex work has been completed and I am excited about the pace of the work,” Mastronardi said. “To ensure safety standards, we have four inspectors per shift onsite. We are working continuously to re-open this critical corridor and continue to ask for motorists to plan ahead, seek alternate commute options, and to be patient when they are behind the wheel. Opening the roadway is our number one priority.”
The federal government has committed to providing $10 million in aid and to easing some federal regulations to expedite the reconstruction.
The following resources will help motorists plan their commutes:
• www.dot.ga.gov for the most up-to-date maps and information on road closures and alternate routes
• www.511ga.org or dial 511 for routing information or to speak to an operator who can assist
• Georgia Commute Options for additional resources and information about available cash incentives for using commute options
• www.itsmarta.com for MARTA routes and schedules
• www.xpressga.com for information on GRTA express routes
The Atlanta Regional Commission provides alternate route options to commercial vehicles and large trucks to help them get through the region. These types of vehicles are also encouraged to only travel through the metro area during overnight hours and to take advantage of I-285 to bypass the city.