The beautiful city of Atlanta is full of culture, business and history. It has a leading tech-centered community, a football team that was just in the Super Bowl and a bubbling music scene. It truly is a terrific city. It has, however, like many cities, seen its fair share of issues. Most recently, this comes in the form of a bridge collapse, leaving millions to deal with traffic jams and reconstruction.
On March 30, I-85, a major interstate highway, was set on fire. The blaze, started by homeless man who had originally lit a chair on fire, spread to a collection of plastic tubes that were being stored under the bridge. Once the fire reached the tubes, the heat became so intense that it managed to burn through the concrete and steel, causing a large portion of the bridge to collapse.
Luckily, no injuries or deaths were sustained during the collapse or the fire, but the missing chunk of bridge has been causing headaches around town for a month already. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) claims that the repairs and renovation will last no longer than mid-June. Unfortunately, the repairs will cost taxpayers an estimated $16.6 million dollars.
With another month and a half of repairs to go, traffic is sure to be a nightmare. Several alternate routes have been suggested, including I-75 for northbound travelers, Ga. 400 for southbound travelers and a slew of other detours.
While this brief interruption of daily life will certainly be a nuisance, I am glad that the fire was able to be controlled and that the actual collapse of the bridge did not result in any deaths, which is almost a miracle for such a popular highway.
I will be sure to update you on when the bridge is completed.