Update: I-16 WB Lanes Now Open, EB Lane Expected to Open by Midnight

Press release from Georgia Department of Transportation


SOPERTON, GA – Overnight and early Friday morning crews were able to remove the GA Hwy 86 Bridge over I-16 completely and began clearing debris from the roadway so that I-16 could be safely reopened to traffic. Both Westbound travel lanes of I-16 are now open to traffic, two days sooner than expected. Crews are working to open Eastbound travel lanes by midnight tonight. Motorists should still anticipate some delays when traveling through this area. 

Initial story

SOPERTON, GA – During a press conference hosted by Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp today at the State Capitol, Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E., announced the GA Hwy 86 bridge over I-16 in Treutlen County must be demolished and replaced following an incident early Thursday morning in which a large dump trailer hit the bridge, significantly damaging the structure and shifting it nearly six feet. 

“We are very grateful that there were no injuries or fatalities as a result of this incident,” said McMurry. “I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Georgia State Patrol, local law enforcement and our local GDOT District 2 staff who mobilized quickly this morning to ensure traffic was safely diverted from I-16. Also, to the residents and local communities in the vicinity of this closure, we appreciate your patience while traffic is being diverted from I-16. We are encouraging motorists to use wayfinding apps to find alternative routes around the closures, and hope to have travel lanes reopened soon.” 

All travel lanes of I-16 have been shut down from Exit 71 to Exit 78 between Dublin and Pooler since early Thursday morning. For the safety of the traveling public, all travel lanes of I-16 will remain shut down in both directions from Exit 71 to Exit 78 for the next few days until the bridge can be removed and the interstate safely reopened to traffic.

Currently, Georgia DOT is working to reopen one lane of I-16 Westbound to traffic by Sunday, July 18. One lane of I-16 Eastbound is expected to open to traffic by Monday, July 19. GDOT anticipates a full reopening of all travel lanes of I-16 by the end of next week, weather permitting. There is not a timeline established as yet for how long it will take to replace the GA Hwy 86 bridge at this time. 

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

Westbound detour: 
Take Exit 78- Turn Right onto Highway 221 North, Left onto US 80 West, go through town of Adrian, Left onto State Route 15, Re-Enter I-16 at Exit 71

Eastbound detour:
Take Exit 71 – Turn Right onto Highway 15, through Soperton, Left onto State Route 46, Left onto State Route 56, Re-Enter I-16 at Exit 78

Motorists are urged to remain patient during this closure. Crews are working to repair and reopen the roadway as soon as possible to minimize impact to the traveling public. Further updates will be forthcoming.

For real-time information about statewide road conditions, know before you go. Before getting into your car – call 511 or visit 511ga.org, where you can access statewide, route-specific information on crashes, road work, traffic and weather. Callers can transfer to operators to report incidents or request assistance on interstate or state routes across Georgia. The system can be also be used to access transit providers, major airports, rideshare organizations, tourism information and 511 systems in surrounding states. 

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