Major Fire Causes Atlanta’s Interstate 85 to Collapse
The often-complained about traffic in Atlanta just got worse.
On Thursday evening, March 31, around 7 PM, an elevated section of the city’s northbound Interstate 85 collapsed as the result of a massive fire. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has already ruled out terrorism, saying, “We’ve spoken to the special agent in charge of FBI, there is no evidence this is related to terrorism.”
Reed didn’t elaborate on what could have possibly caused the collapse, but said an investigation was underway.
“I think it’s as serious a transportation crisis as we could have.”
The good news is there were no fatalities seeing as how 250, 000 vehicles drive across the highway on a daily basis.
An Atlanta Fire Department spokesman told CNN, “There was a 40-feet or higher wall of fire. Power lines were falling and arcing heavily and falling in the streets.”
The section of I-85 that fell is estimated to be 75 to 100 feet long.
During the blaze, traffic was halted, which created backups of 5 miles or longer, with some cars opting to drive through the black smoke.
Residents are being encouraged to use MARTA, Atlanta’s rail and bus system.
It’s being estimated that repairing the highway could take several weeks or months.
Alternate traffic routes are currently being mapped out and with many of Atlanta schools going on spring break next week, it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.