Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

Commercial Construction & Renovation helps our subscribers design, build and maintain better commercial facilities by delivering content to meet the information needs of today's high-level executives.

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6 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — MAY : JUNE 2017 Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation. You can reach him at 678.513.2397 or via email at EDITOR'S NOTE EDITOR'S NOTE by Michael J. Pallerino We want to hear from you At Commercial Construction & Renovation, we're always looking to showcase the best of what our industry is doing. If you have a project profile or a fresh perspective on how to keep our industry positively moving forward, shoot me an email at We'd love to take a look. Burn baby, burn But for how long? And at what cost? To the scores of com- muters (my youngest son included) who were helplessly, but safely, trapped for hours in the mother of all rush hour traffic nightmares, those questions didn't seem important in the moment. That would come later. The long-term "transportation crisis," as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called it, would become the talk of the town. It wasn't just I-85 that would feel the burn. Other local, state and regional arteries would be impacted, too. The fire caused extensive damage in both directions, collapsing 100 feet of the interstate's northbound lanes. Seven hundred feet of elevated highway would have to be demol- ished and rebuilt. All in all, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) estimated that the reconstruction effort would take at least several months. What's a city to do, right? For an inside look at one group's story that worked on the book, check out "Rising Up – The fast track to rebuilding Atlanta's I-85 bridge," on page 185. It started with clean up. Following the first week after the collapse, crews working round the clock completed the heavy dem- olition and hauled away 13 million pounds of rubble. Construction kicked off immediately thereafter. With crews and inspectors working non-stop, C.W. Matthews, the firm tasked with tackling the daunting task, finished the rebuild one month ahead of schedule. All told, six weeks from start to finish. The day after the unveiling, my son, one of the many side- tracked during the collapse, called me to see he was rolling across the new structure on his way to work. For an industry that prides itself on tackling even the most daunting of tasks, they were great words to hear. I can't tell you how many times I've driven over that bridge in the 30 years I've lived in Atlanta. On one of the most heavily trav- eled stretches of road in the country (yes, that's a fact, folks), a massive fire started by a homeless man and his crack pipe caused the bridge on Interstate 85 to crumple to the ground in a "prime-time- bonafide-ready-made-headline-grabbing" mess. Following the first week after the collapse, crews working round the clock completed the heavy demolition and hauled away 13 million pounds of rubble.

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