WATCH LIVE: Trump commends I-85 first responders

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump plans to commend some of the first responders from last month’s I-85 bridge collapse at the White House on Thursday.

The White House said the president will host a group of 15 officers from the Atlanta Police, the city Fire Rescue Department and the Georgia State Patrol for a 30-minute Oval Office meeting beginning at 2 p.m. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will also be there.

Trump plans to praise the group for ensuring there were no deaths from the March 30 collapse, which occurred during rush hour. Soon after a Buckhead portion of the bridge collapsed, first responders had cordoned off the area.

THE LATEST: I-85 fire and bridge collapse

Atlanta firefighter Latoya Bailey and fellow firefighters remained on the scene putting out a smoldering fire Friday, March 31, 2017 at the I-85 collapse site. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM

Ignited surplus construction materials that had been stashed under an elevated section of the interstate is being blamed for the collapse. Basil Eleby, 39, is charged with arson in the blaze.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the collapse.

Here is the list of Thursday’s participants, per the White House:

-Joel Baker, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
-Battalion Chief Douglas Hatcher, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
-Battalion Chief James McLemore, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
-Captain Arthur Adkins, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
-Sergeant Anthony Campbell, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
-Assistant Chief of Police Rodney Bryant, Atlanta Police Department
-Sergeant Ryan Heald, Atlanta Police Department
-Officer Ryan Severance, Atlanta Police Department
-Officer Michael Baker, Atlanta Police Department
-Sergeant First Class Thomas Kustra, Georgia State Patrol
-Sergeant First Class John Cronin, Georgia State Patrol
-Trooper First Class 2 Thomas Burkett, Georgia State Patrol
-Trooper First Class 2 Harold Tisdale, Jr., Georgia State Patrol
-Trooper First Class 1 John Giunta, Georgia State Patrol
-Trooper First Class 1 Kendell McKoy, Georgia State Patrol

A group of police and firefighters was also praised by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in a City Hall ceremony on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced that the contractor rebuilding the structure, C.W. Matthews, could earn up to $3.1 million extra for completing work early. GDOT estimates that the stretch of road will be reopened by June 15.

Read more about the I-85 bridge collapse: 

State offers $3.1 million incentive to finish I-85 bridge early

I-85 to reopen by June 15, officials say

Atlanta bridge collapse: Who is to blame?

Feds greenlight $10 million for emergency repair work after I-85 collapse

I-85 collapses after massive fire: ‘The entire bridge is compromised’ 


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