Deal Provides Updates on I-85 Repair Progress
Gov. Nathan Deal, along with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Commissioner Russell McMurry, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark W. McDonough and State Road and Tollway Authority Executive Director Chris Tomlinson, addressed Interstate 85 bridge repair progress and outlined additional steps the state is taking to reduce traffic and expedite reconstruction.
“I want to extend a sincere thank you to our first responders and other state and local employees who have worked tirelessly since Thursday night,” said Deal. “I’d also like to thank our citizens, especially those near the I-85 site, motorists and private organizations for their patience, understanding and willingness to work together during this time. We encourage everyone to continue using caution and exercising good judgment on the roads going forward. We have undertaken several initiatives to safely and expeditiously move traffic and will continue working with state, federal and local authorities to ensure timely repairs, safe alternative routes for motorists and access to mass transit systems.”
Actions taken by the governor include:
- A letter requesting financial assistance for increased use of MARTA, Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA), Gwinnett and Cobb transit was sent to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The letter also asked to waive all rules and regulations for contract bids allowing the state to expedite the repair/reconstruction process.
- A letter was also sent to MARTA and GRTA to reassure the agencies that the state will provide funding to cover costs associated with increased ridership using the Amended Fiscal Year 18 budget.
- The governor announced financial incentives for private contractors and GDOT, GRTA and other state agencies. While no specific approach has been determined, GDOT will work with private contractors and the Office of Planning and Budget to work on solutions for state employees working directly on the reconstruction/repair project.
- The governor outlined the work policy for state employees, encouraging those at agencies in the Metro Atlanta area to telecommute if they are able to do so and encouraging those unable to telecommute to use mass transit, including MARTA, GRTA, and Gwinnett and Cobb transit. The governor encouraged private sector employers to follow suit and allow employees working in the Metro Atlanta area to telecommute if they are able to do so.
(SOURCE: GA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)