Atlanta Prepares For ‘Tremendous’ Impact Following Massive Interstate Fire Collapsing A Bridge On I-85

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A major effect on traffic in a city already known for gridlock is expected after a massive fire caused a bridge on Interstate 85 to collapse in Atlanta.  Georgia’s top transportation official said there’s no way to tell when the highway, which carries 250,000 cars a day, can be safely reopened to traffic in either direction following the collapse, which happened Thursday afternoon during rush hour.

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“We will have to continue to evaluate the situation and adjust as we do,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said. “This incident — make no bones about it — will have a tremendous impact on travel.”

 

The interstate is a major artery for the U.S. South and a thoroughfare for traffic heading north and south through Atlanta. The bridge collapse effectively “puts a cork in the bottle,” Georgia State Patrol Commissioner Mark McDonough said.

 

It began with a fire that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports burned for more than an hour under I-85 northbound near Piedmont Road, spewing clouds of black smoke skyward. The interstate has been closed indefinitely and the Department of Transportation warned all motorists to stay off I-85.

Traffic was bumper to bumper on nearby surface streets Thursday night as people scrambled to find alternate routes.

 

 

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy:  AP

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