A bridge in Treutlen County, Georgia was pushed six feet off its foundation after a construction truck crashed into it. Why the dump truck hit the I-16 overpass is unknown, but officials from the state’s Department of Transportation shared how it happened.
The dump truck’s bed was reportedly in the upright position when the truck drove beneath the bridge, causing the crash. Luckily, no one was hurt in the crash, nor as a result of the bridge shifting basically into midair.
The bridge will have to be demolished and rebuilt, according to GDOT Officials:
Georgia’s State Governor, Brian Kemp, held a press conference to brief drivers about the accident. Kemp said it would create some “dynamic traffic issues,” which is kind of an understatement because the major incident may take one week, at the very least, to correct.
Right now, officials plan to “open one lane west-bound [...] by Sunday morning,” and “by Monday, have one lane east-bound open.” But that stretch of road won’t be fully reopen until “mid to late next week,” according to the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, Russell McMurry, who said as much at the press conference, covered by Fox 5 Atlanta.
Detours between Exit 71 and 78 have been setup to get traffic flowing, but you can imagine what a closure like this will do for traffic. This area has more than 20,000 cars driving through per day, according to McMurry. The commissioner said the two cities likely to be most affected are Adrien and Soperton, which are directly North and South of the affected area.
The detours in place range from 10 to 24 miles long, which may not seem all that bad, but when you combine the the volume of traffic with the distances, it could still make for some long delays. These are expected to last until July 24, according to report from local news WSBTV.
According to another report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, officials said the demolition will start soon:
GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry told the State Transportation Board on Thursday demolition of the bridge will start in earnest Thursday or Friday. McMurry said GDOT will focus on restoring westbound I-16 traffic first to aid freight moving out of the Port of Savannah.
Crews are already onsite to demolish the bridge, but officials are suggesting drivers avoid the area if they can.
UPDATE [Friday, July 16, 2021, 9:15 AM ET]:
The demolition crews have shared images of the progress so far, according to a report from WSAV. The GDOT also announced that work is underway, and the latest update said the bridge has been demolished as of 02:15 a.m., local time. Footage below:
This photograph below is from the day of the accident, July 15, 2021: