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ATL Highways Traffic Warning for Fri 31 MAR 17

ATL Highways Traffic Warning for Fri 31 MAR 17

Old Mar 30, 17, 9:29 pm
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ATL Highways Traffic Warning for Fri 31MAR17 (EPIC BAD!!!)

ATL is DL's hub, so many people may be flying in or out of ATL tomorrow. For those that don't already know, here is a warning...if you are driving through one of the impacted areas to or from the airport, either be ready for epic traffic or make other plans...It's going to be afternoon of Halloween 2003 bad.

Friday was supposed to be a bad traffic day because of the opening of SunTrust stadium, at the northern I-75/I-285 (Perimeter) Interchange. For those not from around here, there is essentially no plan for handling that traffic other than "We'll Keep Our Fingers Crossed." The ATL metro has been fearing this day for two years.

But now...

A section of I-85 N collapsed today on the NE side of town, parallel to the Spring-Buford Connector near where GA-400 starts. A fire burned hot. The elevated piece of highway is gone. DeKalb schools are canceled, which should help, but tomorrow will be bad on that side of town.

Bottom Line: If you are heading to or coming from north of downtown, do not go through the City of Atlanta. Going on the Perimeter on the west side will likely be a mess, too, especially in Cobb. In DeKalb/Gwinnett, the Perimeter will likely have increased traffic, and it's always backed up during rush hour anyway, but you will hit I-85 north of where the trouble is.

Marta to/from North DeKalb is your friend tomorrow. Take Marta north, get an Uber to a car rental place up there and you will save yourself what could be hours in traffic. Going to Cobb, you're hosed. Marta doesn't go there and the express buses from downtown will be in the gridlock. From anywhere north of the city, to get to the airport, take an Uber to the nearest Marta train station. Even from Cobb, your best bet will likely be to get to North Springs or Perimeter Mall.

Good luck.

Last edited by CJKatl; Mar 30, 17 at 9:37 pm
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Old Mar 30, 17, 10:04 pm
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Hopefully all the crews commuting in ATL make it to their flights on time!
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Old Mar 30, 17, 10:13 pm
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Old Mar 30, 17, 11:26 pm
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This is my exact route home from the office when I'm in town. Luckily we had a happy hour today, otherwise there is a good chance I'd have been one of the cars stuck in that mess. Still took me 45 min to make what is normally a 15-20 min drive at 9pm.

Local news tonight is talking about initial time estimates for road repairs measured in *months*, not the least because they may have to tear down adjacent sections of the elevated highway that may have been damaged. So...good luck driving north of downtown for quite some time.

MARTA rail is the wise choice if you can make it work, but Atlanta is a driving city for sure. I am a native and am happy to help any FTers plan alternate routes if you happen to be visiting our great (albeit slightly overcooked) town.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 11:45 pm
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Thanks to CJKatl for original post and for all others who have added additional information.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
Hopefully all the crews commuting in ATL make it to their flights on time!
Yikes. Had not though of that. This could have a ripple impact on many flights. Fortunately, many pilots live south of the airport in the Peachtree City area, but some, and many other crew members, do live in the northern suburbs.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 2:04 am
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It's going to be an interesting time for those who live and/or work around ATL or perhaps even travel by air via ATL.

Infrastructure matters -- including ground infrastructure even for those who fly more than go by car.

I-85 is pretty critical for Atlanta, so it probably matters to Delta too.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 5:55 am
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I'm wondering about the MARTA North Springs station & parking; there's a large deck, but that's it. I don't think there's any additional space nearby, unless AT&T opens their deck temporarily to MARTA (I think it's AT&T parking next deck over).

North Springs is a GREAT option to Hartsfield from the north, but it can't handle long term parking for Hartsfield and extra riders from this mess.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 6:41 am
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CBS is reporting that inspectors have found damage on 85 southbound lanes and will need to take down/rebuild part of that side, as well.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 6:56 am
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Also aviation related, the fire department called in foam trucks from ATL to help put out the fire:

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Old Mar 31, 17, 6:58 am
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How does this even happen -- a spontaneous fire underneath an overpass severe enough to cause the concrete to collapse?
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Old Mar 31, 17, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by KevinDTW View Post
How does this even happen -- a spontaneous fire underneath an overpass severe enough to cause the concrete to collapse?
Presumably it was the steel that collapsed, but your question remains valid. Supposedly there were PVC products stored beneath this particular section of highway.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 7:31 am
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Birmingham had an overpass burn in 2002. Got it replaced in less than 90 days, but it wasn't a wide sucker like I-85 in Atlanta.



https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publication...s/02sep/05.cfm
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Old Mar 31, 17, 9:51 am
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Apparently under our interstates we store highly flammable objects that produce large amounts of heat when they burn.

And this is the result.

Seriously, one of the stations showed google images of what was under there before the fire.... PVC pipes, spools of junke, just a giant junke yard of stuff..... BOOM!

And apparently if gets hot enough concrete buckles and when it buckles... bad things happen!

It's going to be a long summer in Hotlanta!
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Old Mar 31, 17, 9:55 am
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At ATL now, this morning our shuttle driver took us from Rome to ATL via back roads. He call and said he will be picking us up 30 minutes early and we made the usual 1hr30m drive in 2 hrs.
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