Photo courtesy of C. W. Matthews Contracting Co.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

A section of Interstate 85 in downtown Atlanta reopened last weekend, six weeks after it collapsed in a massive fire.

Contractor C.W. Matthews Construction of Marietta, Georgia, an ARTBA member, will earn a bonus for finishing the work a month ahead of schedule.

The highway normally carries nearly 250,000 vehicles a day. The northbound lanes reopened May 12, and the southbound lanes began accepting traffic the next day.

A homeless man reportedly started the fire, which quickly spread to construction materials the Georgia Department of Transportation stored underneath the overpass. The fire burned so intensely that it destroyed the concrete and steel beams in the bridge, causing the March 30 collapse.