A major Georgia interstate is shut down due to an accident that resulted in a bridge shifting six feet, compromising its safety. The Treutlen County Georgia accident resulted in the closure of the major highway. Interstate 16 is completely closed from Exit 71 to Exit 78 by Thursday afternoon.
Early Thursday morning, a truck crashed into the Georgia bridge. The accident occurred on the I-16 in Treutlen County. The shutdown affects areas between Macon, Georgia, and Savannah, Georgia, in both directions.
Dump Trailer Moves Georgia Bridge Six-Feet In Thursday Morning Accident
According to a local report on CBS 46, the accident occurred when a large dump trailer was traveling along the interstate. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) noted that the dump trailer hit the Georgia 86 bridge just west of the US 221/GA 56 exit. The impact of the trailer caused the structure to shift six feet.
By Thursday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Transportation has not given a timeline for the removal of the closure. Engineers and contractors are hard at work evaluating the situation.
According to reports, engineers at the scene have said they have never seen anything like this accident before. The first step of the process is removing the trailer from the bridge while causing as little further damage as possible during extraction.
Further, repair to the damaged bridge is likely not possible. WSB TV 12 out of Atlanta reports that crews are planning to demolish the entire structure. Once the bridge has been demolished, one lane headed in each direction along I-16 will be opened. The time frame for this step suggests, however, that the one-lane opening should occur by Saturday.
Georgia Highway Should Re-Open By July 24
As the work continues, the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to have the demolition complete by July 24. All lanes should be open at this point reports the Georgia Department of Transportation.
When traveling along this route while the work is being completed, drivers are encouraged to find alternative routes. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Transportation reports that westbound drivers can take a route along US 80. The department suggests drivers route through the town of Adria. Eastbound drivers will circumvent the accident site by rerouting along State Route 46.
“Westbound drivers can take Exit 78, onto Highway 221 North, left onto US 80 West, go through the town of Adrian, left onto State Route 15 and re-enter I-16 at Exit 71,” WSB TV 12 reported. “Eastbound drivers can take Exit 71, turn right onto Highway 15 through Soperton, left onto State Route 46, left onto State Route 56, and re-enter I-16 at Exit 78.”