It will take at least several days to reopen a stretch of Interstate 16 between Macon and Savannah after a bridge over the highway was hit by a dump truck early Thursday.

The incident occurred on Georgia Highway 86 in Treutlen County, forcing heavily traveled I-16 to be closed in both directions between exits 71 and 78.

“We are very grateful that there were no injuries or fatalities as a result of this incident,” Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry said Thursday during a news conference with Gov. Brian Kemp at the state Capitol.

“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to [the] Georgia State Patrol, local law enforcement and our local (Georgia Department of Transportation) District 2 staff, who mobilized quickly this morning to ensure traffic was safely diverted from I-16.”

The DOT is working to reopen one lane of I-16 westbound by Sunday. One lane of I-16 eastbound is expected to open by Monday.

While the damaged bridge will be removed during that time, there is no timetable for replacing it, McMurry said.

A signed detour is in place, but motorists are encouraged to find an alternate route, if possible, given the anticipated traffic volumes.


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