I-16 reopens after bridge crash; truck driver to face charges

Traffic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Crews demolished the damaged bridge over Interstate 16 in Treutlen County early Friday morning and have reopened all traffic lanes well ahead of schedule.

A large dump truck trailer crashed into the SR 86 bridge Thursday morning, shifting it nearly 6 feet. It’s a situation the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) said many of its engineers have never seen before.

According to GDOT, the bridge was at regulation height, but the driver had his lift up.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which Gov. Brian Kemp called “a miracle.”

“I think obviously, this happening in the wee hours of the morning was a big part of that, but we’re lucky in that regard,” he said Thursday.

The governor visited the demolition site Friday afternoon. He thanked state and local partners, as well as those in the private sector, for their quick work.

GDOT initially estimated reopening one lane of each interstate by Saturday, with a full reopening by the following Saturday.

By 5 p.m. Friday, crews reopened the westbound lanes. About three hours later, eastbound lanes followed.

Working quickly to reopen the area was key for port traffic and tourists heading to Savannah, the governor said. Detours were also set up through small towns, disrupting the typically low-traffic areas.

There is still no word yet on when the bridge on SR 86 will be reconstructed.

Meanwhile, the Georgia State Patrol says the truck driver will be facing charges for traffic and commercial license violations.

An official said Friday the agency will complete its investigation before finalizing the charges.

Correction: A previous version of this article mislabeled the county of the incident.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories