What we know at this hour.
As you are probably aware, a fire under I-85 near Piedmont Avenue on the northern section of District 6 caused a section of the northbound interstate lanes to collapse this evening. The fire is now extinguished, and fortunately, no firefighters, police, or other first responders were hurt.
At the time of this writing, I-85 is shut down in both directions between I-75 and GA 400. This includes the Buford Highway connector that runs parallel to the interstate. The section of Piedmont Avenue that runs under the interstate is also closed in both directions. Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has a team of engineers and inspectors on site now assessing the structural integrity of the bridge infrastructure to determine if/when it is safe to reopen any of the travel lanes. However, it is not clear yet when any of these sections will be reopened.
Commuters who normally travel this section will need to find alternate routes and to expect extended delays on City streets in this area. It is strongly suggested that you consider taking MARTA, which has committed to running extended service at least through this weekend. Also, the City is working with GDOT to establish alternate driving routes. Please check GDOT’s website (www.dot.ga.gov) for additional information. I will also post information at www.atlantadistrict6.com and on Twitter (@AlexWanforATL) and Facebook as I can.
Finally, City of Atlanta has announced a delayed start time – 10:00 am – for non-essential employees this Friday, March 31, as a result of the anticipated commute challenges. Please check www.atlantaga.gov for any additional announcements from the City.
I will continue to share with you any further details and information about this matter as they become available.