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Collapsed interstate bridge in Georgia reopens to traffic

ATLANTA (AP) — A key section of interstate highway through Atlanta has partially 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 are expected to reopen by Sunday.

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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