President Donald Trump has immediately approved a federal disaster assistance package in the wake of the I-85 collapse on Friday. The approved plan will grant Georgia $10 million in emergency relief.
Trump had called Georgia Governor Nathan Deal following the incident in order to approve federal assistance. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao also called up Deal to offer support.
According to a report from AJC.com, the emergency funds will be administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The goal is to be able to restore short-term access to the site while initiating major repairs to the bridge and affected roadways.
Emergency relief funds are meant for several short-term repairs on the I-85.
“The quick release of these funds will help to ensure the bridge is repaired safely and in a timely manner to prevent any further disruption to the hundreds of thousands of people who travel it on a daily basis,” Chao said in a statement. The emergency relief funds are said to be “considered a down payment on the costs of short-term repairs now, which can make long-term repair work possible in the weeks ahead.”
Fire caused I-85 bridge to collapse.
According to a report from NBC News, a massive fire on Thursday night caused the Interstate 85 bridge to collapse. Responding to the scene, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department said the incident was showing “Major Emergency Heavy Fire.” “2nd alarm requested,” the department further said.
The fire was reported at 6:21 p.m. It started underneath the bridge on the northbound side. Later at 7 p.m., the bridge had collapsed. As the fire continued, thick, black smoke covered Atlanta for miles. According to the Deal, there were no injuries reported on scene. Following the incident, Deal had decided to declare a state of emergency in both Atlanta and Fulton County. Traffic in the area has also been diverted. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department said that one person has already been charged in connection to the fire.
The I-85 is one of the busiest roadways in the area. As many as 400,000 are said to pass through the I-85 on a daily basis.
I-85 Bridge Collapse Press Conference https://t.co/hraYrBkBZA
— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) March 31, 2017
*Emergency* Interstate 85 in Atlanta GA has just collapsed due to fire under bridge. All lanes blocked. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/5Pa5yJN9YI
— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) March 30, 2017