I-16 highway in US state of Georgia blocked after truck hits overpass, SHIFTS bridge by 6 feet (PHOTOS)

Two major highways in Georgia have been blocked after a dump truck struck an overpass and shifted it by six feet. Authorities plan to demolish the damaged bridge, and it may take up to 10 days to fully reopen the I-16 interstate. Tractor-trailers were backed up for miles on Thursday, after a dump truck smashed into the State Highway 86 bridge over I-16, moving it by some 6 feet (1.8 meters), according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT).

The incident took place about halfway between Savannah and Macon.

I-16 is SHUT DOWN I-16 is closed from Exit 71 to Exit 78 in both directions. A large dump trailer hit the GA 86 bridge and shifted it 6 feet. This is west of US 221/GA 56 Exit.

No timeframe for closure removal. Engineers with contractors and GDOT evaluating the situation. pic.twitter.com/vZHV3JWaQm

— Trucking News, Satire, Humor & More (@everydaytrucker) July 15, 2021

A seven-mile stretch of the interstate was closed for traffic in both directions. The DOT said contractors have proposed demolishing the bridge, which would allow them to reopen one lane of the interstate in each direction by Saturday.

Demolition would continue during the following week, so I-16 could fully reopen by July 24.  This would, of course, leave that stretch of highway 86 blocked until a new overpass can be built – whenever that happens.

Crews assessing the damage. Contractors will help remove lift that hit the I-16 bridge.

Plan….? Demo bridge. Reopen 1 lane in each interstate direction by Saturday July 17?

Continue demo during week. Reopen all lanes by Saturday July 24??? pic.twitter.com/QLZLx5ezOk

— GDOT East Traffic (@GDOTEastTraffic) July 15, 2021

Many of the people responding to the DOT on Twitter were surprised by the decision to demolish the bridge, suggesting a “fix” of running another truck into the overpass from the other side, so it would “pop back” into place. I-16, also known as the Jim Gillis Historic Savannah Parkway and State Route 404, is a federal interstate highway located entirely within Georgia.

It serves as the main road between the coastal city of Savannah and the interior of the state, as well as the hurricane evacuation route.

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While the official inquiry into the incident is still ongoing, photos suggest it may have been caused by the dump truck not fully lowering its bed. A similar incident took out a pedestrian bridge in Washington, DC last month, injuring several people and blocking I-295 for days. Back in May, a major bridge on I-40 across the Mississippi River was closed after the discovery of a crack in the steel structure linking Tennessee and Arkansas.

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Last month, the White House negotiated a compromise infrastructure plan with a group of Senate Republicans that could see £1.2 trillion in spending over eight years, of which £109 billion would go to repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges across the US.

However, President Joe Biden put the deal into doubt the very same day, vowing he would sign it only alongside a £6 trillion Democrat proposal for “human infrastructure” that is making its way through Congress.

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