ATLANTA - Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and Georgia DOT held a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently re-opened Interstate 85 bridge.
The ceremony served as a re-dedication of the interstate over Piedmont Road.
Governor Deal spoke Thursday afternoon thanking several groups including the Georgia Department of Transportation, MARTA, Uber, the work crews, and federal officials, but first thanked the first responders for their bravery, clear thinking, and quick action.
"As catastrophic as this was, one of the great statistics is nobody was killed or injured as a result of this. So, thanks to these folks and their colleagues for their great work," Gov. Deal said during the ceremony.
Deal also thanked U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao saying her help was critical in bringing the project in ahead of schedule. The governor thanked Chao also for the quick $10 million funding contribution.
Georgia transportation officials reported no major delays on Monday during the first rush hour since the Interstate 85 overpass reopened for traffic after collapsing in a massive fire.
All lanes of I-85 at Piedmont Road were reopened over the weekend and available for Monday morning's commute.
The southbound lanes opened at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with drivers cheering and honking as they passed over the stretch of the freeway over Piedmont Road that had been shut down for six weeks. The northbound roadway reopened to traffic just after 7 p.m. Friday, as Atlanta police cruisers led the first pack of cars over the new section of I-85.
The Georgia DOT has been working, non-stop since the fire and collapse of I-85 on March 30. Thousands of people worked behind the scenes to get this bridge back open, and traffic flowing again.
DOT leaders call it an unprecedented event. The massive fire that caused the collapse of one of the city's main arteries. Now, after just more than six weeks of around the clock work, the interstate is open earlier than first planned.