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Georgia to spend $3.6M on new I-16 bridge at crash site
In this photo released by the Georgia Department of Transportation, the SR 86 bridge is inspected over Interstate 16 in Treutlen County, Ga., Thursday, July 15, 2021. The Interstate is shut down in both directions from Exit 71 to Exit 78 due to a large dump trailer hitting the SR 86 bridge and shifting it nearly six feet.

SOPERTON – Georgia highway officials have awarded a $3.58 million contract to replace an Interstate 16 bridge that was demolished after a truck hit it in July.

The state Department of Transportation announced Thursday that Georgia Bridge and Concrete has been hired to replace the bridge which carries Georgia 86 near Soperton by next summer.

The new bridge will be made with concrete beams and not steel beams. No start date is set for the work, which is anticipated to take six months.

The state will also pay to repave a 4-mile stretch of U.S. 221 that was damaged when traffic was detoured over that roadway.

The bridge was demolished in less than 48 hours after the crash knocked the overpass from its support beams. A dump truck malfunctioned, causing the bed to rise into the dump position while the truck was traveling. The truck slammed into the bridge, dislodging it by as much as 6 feet (1.83 meters).

Officials decided to destroy the badly damaged overpass and replace it later. The remains of the overpass structure was hauled away after it was demolished.

The dump truck driver, who was uninjured, was later cited for having an expired driver's license.

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