TDOT double checking bridges after Atlanta bridge fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TDOT double checking bridges after Atlanta bridge fire

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Georgia transportation leaders don't blame Thursday's massive fire on materials being stored under Interstate 85. 

They say it's not uncommon for states to store materials under bridges but Channel 3 found out Tennessee is not one of those states 

Investigators continue to work to find out what caused the massive fire under a bridge in Atlanta. 

"It's no different than having a plastic cup in your cupboard. It does not ignite. It takes something to cause something like that to burn," Russell McMurry with Georgia Department of Transportation said. 

Transportation crews in Tennessee are making sure the same recipe for disaster isn't waiting to happen in the Tennessee Valley.

"Just one spark can set something off," Jennifer Flynn with Tennessee Department of Transportation said. 

Flynn said crews were out Friday checking under bridges to make sure there weren't any materials being stored. 

"TDOT doesn't allow any materials stored on a permanent basis to be stored under their structures. But that doesn't mean that's not happening somewhere," she added.

TDOT does store equipment under bridges during construction projects but only temporarily. 

Transportation leaders in Georgia say the materials being stored under I-85 are common in traffic management.

"It is part of where we have stored construction materials specifically high density plastic conduit which is non-combustible," McMurry said.

Tennessee transportation crews do know the impact fire can have on bridges. 

Flynn said a bridge in Williamson County had to be shut down when a fiery crash burned so hot in 2014, it damaged the bridge's structure. 

"It can damage the concrete, it can melt the rebar which is the metal material that reinforces the concrete. If the heat is hot enough, it can do a lot of damage," she said.

READ MORE | Gov. Deal declares state of emergency following I-85 fire, collapse

The damage in Atlanta spans two and a half football fields and will take months and millions to replace.

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