Interstate 85 in Atlanta to Be Repaired by June 15, 2017?

T he Georgia Department of Transportation announced earlier this week that it plans to complete the rebuilding of Interstate 85 by Wednesday, June 15, 2017 in an aggressive effort to return motorists to one of the main arteries through the greater Atlanta metropolitan area approximately ten weeks after the collapse of the elevated highway on Wednesday, March 30, 2017.

Interstate 85 in Atlanta to Be Repaired by June 15, 2017?

“At the Governor’s urging, we are going to incentivize the completion of this work,” said Marc Mastronardi — who is the director of construction of the Georgia Department of Transportation — according to this article from its official Internet web site. “We have selected a date that we believe is aggressive but attainable and will offer a bonus for early completion.”

Updated Detour Information

While it will not resolve the situation in the meantime, the Buford-Spring Connector — which this section of Georgia State Highway 13 is better known as in Atlanta and runs parallel to Interstate 85 in this area — is open again to traffic from Interstate 85…

Updated map of detours for Interstate 85 in Atlanta

Updated map of detours for Interstate 85 in Atlanta. Click on the map to access its source. Source: Georgia Department of Transportation

…except that it is only open to local traffic — but that is better than nothing.

Updated map of detours for Interstate 85 via Piedmont Road in Atlanta

Updated map of detours for Interstate 85 via Piedmont Road in Atlanta. Click on the map to access its source. Source: Georgia Department of Transportation

The optional alternate route using Piedmont Road northbound is illustrated by the map shown above.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority — which is known more popularly as MARTA, which is the transit system of Atlanta — is introducing a web-based tracking tool on Monday, April 10, 2017 which will provide up-to-the-minute capacity updates for ten parking facilities across the rail transit system to help commuters find parking spaces, which have suddenly become elusive as motorists scramble to find alternative routes and methods to get to work or school.

Updated Information

In this article I wrote pertaining to navigating Atlanta, there was the question of what was under that collapsed portion of highway — and new information has been brought to light:

“A skate park was created under the Interstate-85 bridge, just beyond where it collapsed last week in a massive fire. The only problem? The Georgia Department of Transportation never approved it”, according to this article from WXIA-TV Channel 11 News — also known as 11 Alive — in Atlanta. “Photos taken of the skate park, provided to 11Alive, show pallets of concrete mix sitting under tarps, stacks of plywood laying about and other construction materials strewn under a section of the Atlanta highway. But 11Alive found more materials under the bridge, even flammable ones, including tires and old mattresses.”

Meanwhile, authorities believe that three suspects — Basil Eleby, Sophia Bruner and Barry Thomas — were together when the fire started; but that Eleby is the one who set the fire, according to this article written by Fiza Pirani and Tyler Estep for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Basil Eleby, 39, was charged with arson, first-degree criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. Sophia Bruner and Barry Thomas were charged with criminal trespass.”

Eleby — who has been arrested 19 times since 1995, mostly on drug offenses — had his bond set to $200,000.00 by a judge in Fulton County Magistrate Court on Saturday, April 2, 2017.

Summary

The real test of the traffic in the city of Atlanta will be on this coming Monday during the workday, as students and employees return to work after enjoying a week off for spring break…

…but with the amalgam of facts, there is plenty of blame to go around — and hopefully, a lesson in how to prevent something similar from happening again on any elevated highway. Other cities have reportedly started taking measures in better ensuring the prevention of a similar breakdown in their elevated highway systems.

At this point, one might wonder if Interstate 85 will be rebuilt before Delta Air Lines completely resolves its current operational issues as hundreds of passengers remain stranded from the inclement weather which occurred three days ago…

This image underneath Interstate 85 in Atlanta — as seen from the view of the Buford Connector — was captured in November of 2016 and is currently available at the street view of Google Maps. Source: ©2017 Google.

4 thoughts on “Interstate 85 in Atlanta to Be Repaired by June 15, 2017?”

  1. Greg Green says:

    Can those Georgia worker come to Knoxville and finish the left turn debacle on Maynardville Highway? It’s been three years and still no end in sight. Way to go, Georgia!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Your comment caused me to think, Greg Green — road projects in Georgia do tend to not take an unusually long time.

      I have been to Knoxville; but I am not sure I have been on Maynardville Highway. Nonetheless, I hope that project is completed soon…

      1. Greg says:

        Thanks, Brian. I love your blog.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          You have truly made my day, Greg.

          I appreciate your comment. Thank you so much!

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