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Here’s how long I-985 will be affected by Exit 14 bridge repair
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Traffic drives towards the bridge at exit 14 on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. The bridge over Interstate 985 at exit 14 is being redone because of failed strength tests. - photo by Austin Steele

Overnight lane closures are in store as the Georgia Department of Transportation embarks on a 12-week effort to repair an Interstate 985 bridge that failed strength tests earlier this year.

Single lane closures will start Friday, May 31, as crews begin a weekend regimen associated with fixing flawed sections of the bridge, which is part of Exit 14 that’s under construction in South Hall.

The first weekend closures will take place from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1, and then 9 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2, according to the DOT.

That same Friday night-Sunday morning schedule will be repeated throughout the 12 weeks.

Weekday closures will start at 8 p.m. Monday, June 3, and run until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 4. That daily pattern will run through 6:30 a.m. Friday, June 7.

The Monday night-Friday morning schedule will remain throughout the project, as well, initially affecting I-985 drivers traveling northbound before switching over to southbound lanes.

All the work will be done weather permitting, DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said.

The bridge will serve as the overpass for Exit 14, which has been under construction since 2017 and is set for completion later this year.

The $34 million project will connect Martin Road at Falcon Parkway Ga. 13 on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed at Thurmon Tanner Parkway on the west side.

Earlier this year, the DOT said that three of the bridge’s four driving deck spans didn’t meet DOT standards.

In a Feb. 14 letter obtained by The Times, the DOT told contractor G.P.’s Enterprises Inc. of Auburn, “Our review and analysis of both current facts and future unknowns leaves us with no option but to request (the three) deck spans … be replaced in their entirety.”

Brandon Kirby, who now serves as the district engineer, later said the failed tests were “really a material issue,” not a contractor issue.

As for fixing the bridge, Strickland has said, “There will be no cost to the taxpayer. (DOT) won’t be participating in the costs to correct the deficiencies.”


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