Your April 5 Pre-Trip: I-85 construction underway, June timeline set

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. I-85 bridge expected to be completed in June

The Georgia Dept. of Transportation announced it expects the I-85 bridge, which caught fire and collapsed last week, to be rebuilt by the middle of June. According to an 11 Alive report, traffic will continue to be a problem despite efforts GDOT is making to relieve congestion on surface streets. A federal investigation into what caused the fire is currently underway, the report noted. 11 Alive has more.

2. Chao: Infrastructure plan by May

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Tuesday that infrastructure legislation may be released as soon as May, The Bond Buyer reports. Chao and President Trump spoke during a White House town hall with business leaders on Tuesday, where Trump told executives that the infrastructure plan will be large and will focus on funding for projects that can get underway soon. Details of the $1 trillion, 10-year plan are still unclear. According to the report, the proposal includes $137 billion of federal tax credits that could leverage billions of dollars in private investments in revenue-producing infrastructure such as toll roads.

3. Arizona ports program saves trucks time and money

A new cargo-inspection program at Arizona ports of entry is cutting border crossing times – even when ports of entry remain understaffed. According to a Tuscon.com report, Mexican customs officers are now working at Arizona ports with their U.S. counterparts to inspect thousands of northbound and southbound trucks loaded with goods. The report notes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection started the Unified Cargo Processing program in July 2016 to save time and money for trucks traveling to and from Mexico.

4. Moving freight through Freight Alley

According to a Freight Waves report, Chattanooga, TN, ranks No. 1 of all metropolitan cities when it comes to moving freight. The report notes that a Thrive 2055 study, commissioned by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Transportation Planning Organization, found that about 80% of the nation’s freight travels through Chattanooga on its way to its final destination – due largely to the convergence of three Interstates (I-75, I-24, and I-59). Chattanooga has gotten a reputation for being part of Freight Alley, an area that defines freight traffic moving throughout the Atlanta-Birmingham-Chattanooga area. Freight Waves also notes that the region is home to more than 50 freight-related businesses.

5. Report says Michigan’s roads, bridges deteriorating

A report conducted by TRIP, a Washington-based transportation advocacy research organization, says 20% of Michigan’s state-maintained roads were in poor condition in 2016 and are expected to deteriorate significantly over the next three years, according to The Detroit News. The report also notes that bridges rated in poor condition in 2016 will increase 50% by 2023. According to the report, a $1.2 billion a year infusion to fix the state’s roads and bridges won’t be enough to stop decay over the next five years. The Detroit News has more.

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