Traffic on I-85 to be stopped for blasting

LAWRENCEVILLE - For the first time since May, crews are expected to halt traffic on Interstate 85 to perform blasting.

The 10-minute halt is scheduled for 1 p.m. today, but officials said a number of factors could delay the plans.

After all, the date of the latest blasting has been delayed several times in the past week.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope said reasons for the schedule shuffle include broken equipment, rain and holiday traffic.

Because of the intricacies involved in preparing to blast, rain during preparations can throw the entire schedule off, Pope said.

"You can't know that a drill bit is going to break," she added. "It's been one thing after another."

Despite the setbacks, Pope said the construction to add new bridges, high-occupancy vehicle lanes and collector-distributor lanes to the interchange at Ga. Highway 316 is actually ahead of schedule.

But the blasting could come more often, she said, since the original idea was to have charges set two to three times a week all summer and it has only happened twice so far.

"We have a lot of blasting to go," she said. "It will be occurring all summer long."