Deal receives Interstate 85 briefing from federal officials

March 31, 2017

Gov. Nathan Deal today met with the Acting Deputy Director of the Federal Highway Administration Butch Waidelich, senior adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation James Ray, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Commissioner Russell McMurry, Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Mark McDonough and other officials to receive a full briefing and updates regarding the Interstate 85 fire and bridge collapse.

“As we continue to assess the damage and begin repairs, I ask for the public’s patience and understanding," said Deal. "The fact that no lives were lost is a blessing, and I’m grateful for the courage, hard work and tireless efforts by our state and local first responders. I’m also thankful for the timely response from the federal government. Their expedited assistance will allow GDOT, city officials and private contractors to begin work immediately. The state of Georgia, City of Atlanta and federal government are committed to an expedited and safe resolution of this disaster.

“As we continue to assess the damage and begin repairs, I ask for the public’s patience and understanding. The fact that no lives were lost is a blessing, and I’m grateful for the courage, hard work and tireless efforts by our state and local first responders. I’m also thankful for the timely response from the federal government. Their expedited assistance will allow GDOT, city officials and private contractors to begin work immediately. The state of Georgia, City of Atlanta and federal government are committed to an expedited and safe resolution of this disaster.

“Despite our coordinated efforts, this will be a long process. This is due, in part, to the fact that bridge beams must be cast, poured, tested, transported and individually installed. During this time, public safety is our chief priority and primary concern. With your help, we will be better able to ensure the safety of motorists, travelers, first responders and construction crews.”

GDOT and DPS officials will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. today near the collapse site to provide additional updates.