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Interstate Highway Collapse in Atlanta

Daniel Moriarty, Contributor

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Section of Interstate 85 on fire, before collapse.

ATLANTA, GA (DeKalb County –> Capital District) — An Interstate Highway collapsed yesterday in the heart of the city of Atlanta, the largest city in the state of Georgia.  Interstate 85,  the most important artery that serves the city as a north-south expressway.  As of this time, Interstate 85 is completely closed north of downtown, shutting down 10 important lanes of traffic that transports 250, 000 cars daily, which is more cars than the Tappan Zee bridge carries daily.  This will spell disaster for traffic in Atlanta. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R-Jenkins), has declared a state of emergency in the city of Atlanta, and transportation authorities are putting together a detour plan, which will most likely use one of Interstate 85’s auxiliary highways, Interstate 285, or “The Perimeter,” as a beltway to transport traffic to another of Atlanta’s north-south expressways, Interstate 75.  Atlanta’s mayor is also speaking out, Kasim Reed (D-DeKalb), says that the collapse is not terrorism related.  Currently, the City of Atlanta is reviewing disaster plans dating back from the 1996 Summer Olympics, hosted in Atlanta, hoping to find any secret tricks to diverting traffic away from I-85.  The collapse began when a plastic storage center under the highway caught fire, turning into a massive inferno burning the underside of the highway.  Cars witnessed the fire and stopped their’ cars several hundred feet in advance, so luckily no one was injured. After the fire picked up steam, it reached a peak height of over 40 feet, the intense height began to melt concrete columns holding up the overpass, causing it to snap.  This led the highway to fall into the fire.  The Fire Department of Atlanta  fought the fire, and it is now extinguished.  Atlanta’s Fire Chief says there will be no telling when the road will be rebuilt and reopened. The city expects it to be fixed in several months if no other damage is found in the superstructure.

Works Cited:

Interstate 85 Section on Fire  


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Interstate Highway Collapse in Atlanta