June 15 is target for reopening I-85 in Atlanta

Work continues on I-85 in Atlanta following a fire last week. (Georgia DOT photo)Work continues on I-85 in Atlanta following a fire last week. (Georgia DOT photo)

Truckers who have to use I-85 inside the I-285 ring around Atlanta can expect to see traffic get back to normal in a bit more than 60 days following a fire and overpass collapse last week.

That forecast made by Georgia Department of Transportation officials in a press conference Tuesday morning. GDOT laid out a reconstruction plan called “aggressive but attainable,” the goal of which is having the interstate fully reopened by June 15.

Although most through trucks are required to use I-285 to go around the city, car traffic is being diverted onto I-285 and other highways as a result of the collapse, causing backups and delays.

About 700 feet of the interstate will have to be reconstructed as a result of last week’s fire. The federal Department of Transportation issued $10 million in emergency funding to help with the repairs.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Basil Eleby, 39, is charged with arson in the blaze. Authorities say he and two companions were there Thursday, March 30 talking about smoking crack, shortly before the fire began beneath the bridge.