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DOT awaits results of second try at bridge spans for I-985 Exit 14
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The bridge over I-985 at Exit 14 remains closed Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Concrete has been poured on one of the three spans that failed strength tests earlier this year, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The DOT is awaiting new results before proceeding. - photo by Scott Rogers

Concrete has been poured on one of the three faulty spans on the Interstate 985 overpass at the new Exit 14 in South Hall, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“We are awaiting the results from the materials testing prior to proceeding with additional work,” district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said late last week.

“Since we have only poured one span, I don’t have anything on an updated timeline,” she said, referring to an estimated completion.

Strickland added, “We are just in a sort of holding pattern until we ensure the new concrete is up to our standards.”

The DOT is “hoping, of course, that the materials testing will happen quickly and that the other work will continue moving along.”

The overpass appeared finished earlier this year, spanning I-985 while the rest of the interchange project was taking shape. But then, three of the driving surface’s four spans failed strength tests.

A redo of the spans started in May and was expected to last 12 weeks, so there was hope the work could be finished by Aug. 31 — the deadline in contractor G.P.’s Enterprises Inc.’s contract.

An official with G.P.’s couldn’t be reached for comment Friday, Nov. 8.

District Engineer Brandon Kirby said in a May interview the bridge’s problems were “really a material issue,” not contractor error.

The concrete “wasn’t workmanship” quality, he said.

The Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Interchange’s entrance and exit ramps opened Sept. 3

with a ceremony involving the NFL team, which has its headquarters and training camp off Falcons Parkway at Hog Mountain Road, less than a mile from Exit 14.

When the overall project is finished, the $34 million interchange will connect Martin Road at Falcons Parkway on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed at Thurmon Tanner Parkway on the west side.

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