I-85 lanes that collapsed in Atlanta fire reopen

Construction workers and firefighters survey a section of an overpass that collapsed from a large fire on Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Friday, March 31, 2017. Many commuters in some of Atlanta's densely populated northern suburbs will have to find alternate routes or ride public transit for the foreseeable future after a massive fire caused a bridge on Interstate 85 to collapse Thursday, completely shutting down the heavily traveled highway. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP/WNCN) – A key section of interstate highway through Atlanta has reopened, six weeks after a highway bridge collapsed because of a large fire.

Local news media report drivers began using northbound lanes on the repaired section of I-85 about 7 p.m. Friday. The southbound lanes reopened on Saturday, according to a Tweet from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The heavily traveled stretch of roadway had been shut down since March 30, when a blaze beneath the bridge burned so hot that it caused the overpass of steel and concrete to collapse.

Frustrated Atlanta commuters were forced onto congested alternate routes or transit systems. Officials urged employers to allow employees to telecommute or change their schedules as construction crews worked round-the-clock shifts.

Officials offered a multimillion-dollar incentive to the project contractor C.W. Matthews to finish ahead of schedule.

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