After a ferocious fire yesterday, I-85 was completely shut down in downtown Atlanta at the end of the evening rush hour. Black smoke spread throughout the city as the fire raged for about an hour before the bridge holding the northbound I-85 lanes collapsed.
Fortunately, no drivers were injured as officials were able to clear the interstate before the collapse.
It’s also fortunate that the fire didn’t spread to any nearby buildings, as some feared might happen.
Officials are ruling out terrorism but don’t yet know what caused the fire.
It could be over 2 months before the overpass is replaced.
Transportation officials want commuters to utilize I-20 and I-75 to get into the downtown and midtown areas.
Approximately 250,000 vehicles use the interstate every day. Now those vehicles will be forced to take either I-75 to I-285 or I-20 to I-285. There are already reports of heavy backups on I-285 near Spaghetti Junction this morning.
“We encourage people to telework, stay at home or use public transit,” said Chris Thomason with GDOT.
Semi trucks already have to use I-285 to get through Atlanta, but truckers should expect the already congested route to be much worse for the foreseeable future.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) March 31, 2017
Huge fire under a piece of I-85 North that has now collapsed pic.twitter.com/p2PymLAGrs
— Alex (@BearWorePlaid) March 30, 2017