Prepare for your Monday commute
Monday morning’s commute is anticipated to be potentially 30% greater due to everyone returning to regular work hours after local school systems’ spring breaks. Here is a quick update on the I-85 bridge collapse to help you plan ahead.
Road Closure/Opening Status
I-85 North and South (all lanes) remain closed at this location. Georgia Department of Transportation anticipates repair construction to last until June 15.
The Buford Highway/Spring Street Connector has limited availability. Two northbound lanes are open (access just after the I-85/I-75 split), and all exits are open. Only one southbound lane is open (access just after the Cheshire Bridge and GA 400 North exits). Drivers cannot access the southbound lane from Sidney Marcus Road. The good news is that GDOT has restriped the southbound lane so that there are two lanes exiting from the Buford Connector back onto I-85 just before it merges with I-75.
Piedmont Road is also impacted as it goes under I-85. There are three southbound lanes open, and the exit onto I-85 South via the Buford Connector is open. There is only one northbound lane open at this time.
Coordination with other agencies
The city is working closely with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). They have posted at their website recommended detours around the impacted area. They are also posting updates about the construction work. Please visit www.dot.ga.gov for information.
MARTA has expanded service through their system to accommodate the increase in ridership. In response to challenges some customers were having with parking this past week, they have opened up an addition 1,200 spaces in certain station in their East and North lines. They also are reporting stations where parking is underutilized and available. Please visit www.itsmarta.com for most up-to-date information.
Atlanta Public Schools have made adjustments in anticipation of possible challenges in getting students to certain schools tomorrow. First, they will be opening Morningside Elementary and schools in the North Atlanta cluster at 7:15 am to increase the drop off window. They are also asking that you get to your bus stop 15 minutes early as well. Please visit www.atlanta.k12.ga.us for more details.
City of Atlanta Public Works and GDOT will deploy extra traffic engineers to the impacted corridors Monday morning to review and adjust the timing of the traffic signals as appropriate. Please keep in mind that we have to look at the system as a whole, as changes at one intersection will impact others along the corridor and onto other corridors as well.
Atlanta Police Department will be sending officers to make sure that all intersections are kept clear in order to maximize throughput through the system. Please do not enter an intersection unless you know you can clear it before the signal changes.
Other suggestions and comments
Please fill up your gas tank before you set out tomorrow, so you don’t want to run out of gas if you get stuck in traffic, creating more pressure on the system. You might want to bring some water, too.
The City and GDOT are reviewing all lane closure permits and pulling non-essential work to keep as many lanes open as possible everywhere. Please keep in mind that some of the work must still move forward, but you should see that minimized.
Also, GDOT is postponing the lane reconfiguration project at the I-85/I-75 Connector bridge (just south of Piedmont Hospital) until after the Peachtree Road Race on July 4.
Stay tuned and stay in touch
I am using social media to push out relevant information I receive throughout the day. My Facebook account is www.facebook.com/AlexWanforATL and my Twitter handle is @AlexWanforATL.
Please send me information via these channels or by email at email@example.com so that I can make sure the City team and GDOT have as much data as possible and so they can address critical situations as they arise.
Be patient, and we’ll get through this!
It will be even more challenging on the streets Monday, so please add a little extra time to your commute and be patient. Also, please respect the speed limits on the residential streets if your navigation app routes you onto them. Many do not have sidewalks, and there are neighbors walking on them, some even with their kids and/or pets.
We’ll get through these next two months together!