- Associated Press - Saturday, April 14, 2018

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia transportation officials are considering other locations for storing roadside assistance vehicles.

The development comes after a federal agency issued a report on factors that contributed to the 2017 collapse of a section of Interstate 85 in metro Atlanta.

A homeless man was accused of setting the fire, but construction materials stored under the bridge allowed the blaze to spread quickly.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a recent report that the “large amount of combustible material being stored underneath this section of the I-85 bridge increased the fire risk to the bridge” and contributed to its collapse.

Georgia transportation officials say they no longer store construction materials under Georgia bridges.

The Georgia Fire Marshal’s Office inspected the HERO vehicle facility under I-85 after the bridge collapsed and found that the facility complies with all state requirements.

HERO drivers - short for Highway Emergency Response Operators - help to clear wrecks and also provide traffic control and roadside assistance to motorists in metro Atlanta.

But Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the agency is considering other locations for the HERO vehicles. Supervisors also have offices under the highway, and employees meet there for shift changes and safety meetings.

Dale said there is no specific time frame for making the decision.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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