I-85 opening this weekend ahead of Monday rush hour - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

I-85 opening this weekend ahead of Monday rush hour

Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Six weeks of around the clock construction and I-85 is now just days away from opening. Drivers find this difficult to believe.

"Usually when something like this happens it takes like about a year for it. For a couple of months it's great," driver Bukky Rufai said.

"I was not expecting it because I heard everyone talking about like September or Memorial Day and all that kind of stuff," driver Erin Smith said.

At the state capitol announcement Wednesday even Governor Nathan Deal was impressed.

"To be able to completely demolish the damaged section of a bridge and totally replace it and open it up again for business as usual in just six short weeks we may have set some records in the process of doing that," Deal said.

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said  more work must be completed before any lanes open this weekend. 

"We have to install the expansion joints between the each of the beam sets," McMurry said. "We have to complete pouring the concrete side barrier on both the north and southbound."

Also electrical work for lights and re-striping traffic lanes to direct cars away from the Buford Connector are also needed. McMurry stressed even though it went up fast the project was inspected every step of the way and is safe.

"When you think of an interstate collapsing you would think it would take a really long time, like the structure would need to be sturdy in order for everyone to drive on so it," driver Erin Smith said. "Makes me a little concerned but I wouldn't think they would put people on there if it was dangerous."

Many drivers are just ready for it to open once again.

"I can't wait," Rufai said. "It's just the commute is going to be a whole lot better now."

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