Interstate Bridge Collapse in Atlanta Will Be Traffic Headache for Visitors and Commuters Alike

By Paul Riegler on 31 March 2017
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Getting to Atlanta's airport is currently a challenge.

Getting to Atlanta’s airport is currently a challenge.

One day a bridge on after one of the most widely-used roadways in Atlanta collapsed, commuters and visitors to one of the most congested cities in the country continue to face somewhat unpredictable traffic and travel times after a section of a major north-south artery collapsed late Thursday.

A section of I-85 in the Buckhead area of Atlanta collapsed shortly on Thursday after 6 p.m. local time during rush hour. No one was injured. Meanwhile, schools remained closed on Friday and local businesses encouraged employees to work remotely.

Friday was already supposed to be a day with heavy traffic thanks to the planned opening the SunTrust Park baseball stadium.

Officials recommend taking public transportation to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the time being.

Indeed, local officials were uncertain when repair work on the highway section, one of the busiest in the city, would be completed, and authorities are unaware of the blaze’s cause. The repair work, however, would be “time consuming” and would likely take several months to complete, the city said in a statement.

On Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in Fulton County.

Officials reported a 70% drop in Friday morning traffic on sections of I-85 leading to the now-closed bridge as well as a 25% increase in traffic on major highways near the closed section. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, reported a 25 percent increase in ridership and a nearly 80% increase in sales Friday morning.

I-85 is a major interstate highway in the southern United States that runs from Montgomery, Alabama to Petersburg, Virginia. The bridge involved in the collapse is 180’ (55 meters) long and was built in 1953, and updated in 1985 to accommodate higher volumes of traffic.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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