Governor Deal announces funding plan for I-85 bridge repair

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (CBSN)

ATLANTA, Ga (AP) — Georgia’s governor promises financial help from the state to transit agencies seeing increased ridership following the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.

Gov. Nathan Deal says he’s asking federal authorities to waive various regulations during the repairs to reopen Interstate 85. The state also hopes to use financial incentives for private contractors and state employees working on bridge repairs.

Deal says both strategies could speed up completion of the bridge. In addition to anticipated state money for packed transit agencies, Deal says he’s asked federal officials for financial help.

Deal and the state’s top transportation officials on Monday gave no indication of a timeline to reopen I-85.

Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry says his department will be evaluating “all things” including its storage policies after the massive fire at a storage facility underneath the bridge caused its collapse.

Police have said the fire was started by a man under the bridge in an area north of downtown Atlanta where the state stores noncombustible construction materials. McMurry says Monday his agency “will be looking at all things to make sure that we never have a catastrophic event like this again.”

Governor Deal says until the bridge repairs are completed, he urges state employees to work from home or use transit. Deal says private companies should follow the state’s lead.

 

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