ATLANTA — Both westbound travel lanes of Interstate 16 in Treutlen County reopened Friday, one day after a bridge over the highway was heavily damaged and two days earlier than expected.
As of late Friday afternoon, crews were working to reopen the eastbound lanes by midnight.
The bridge on Georgia Highway 86 over I-16 was struck by a dump trailer early Thursday morning, forcing the state Department of Transportation to close the highway in both directions between exits 71 and 78.
"Georgia DOT engineers and contractors worked expeditiously through the night to safely remove the damaged bridge so that I-16 could be opened back up to traffic days earlier than expected," Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry said Friday.
"My thanks goes out to the GDOT team members and contractors who worked through the night and day today to make this happen. Our sincere gratitude goes to law enforcement, and I’d like thank those communities and individuals who have been impacted by this event for their patience and support."
An eastbound detour from I-16 will remain in place through midnight. Motorists are urged to remain patient and should pay attention to signage, follow marked detours or wayfinding apps and drive with caution on local roads.
Georgia 86 remains closed while the DOT plans the replacement of the damaged bridge. No timetable for completion of that work has been set.