The Interstate 85 Atlanta Bridge Collapse Traffic Apocalypse

Today, a major event happened in Atlanta Metro that is going to cause traffic chaos for the next few months.  A section of the Interstate 85 elevated bridge between the Interstate 75 split to the Georgia 400 split collapsed.  The northbound bridge now has a major gap in it.  The southbound bridge is still all intact but we don’t know if the fire has compromised a section of the bridge as well.

Here are some social media reactions to the collapse.

So, what could have caused this fire that has caused a major interstate bridge to collapse?  All you have to do is look at Google Maps!  Apparently, under the bridge there are fiber optic cables that were being stored.  It looks like it could be cable for traffic management systems because no DOT’s anywhere in the country would allow stuff like this to be stored under a major infrastructure corridor.

A viewer sent in a photo to WSB-TV apparently showing the fire starting.

Of course, there will be investigations about how this fire started.  But the Georgia DOT needs to explain why a ton of cables like this were allowed to be stored under a major bridge.  Were these cables for the DOT that they were going to use, or was a private company storing these here for their use?  Either way, this was very stupid!  So, we are now talking about up to six months of major traffic gridlock in the Atlanta Metro, up to six months!

Two major traffic corridors to get into downtown Atlanta from the very crowded northern suburbs are now cut-off.  You can’t take I-85 north of downtown or Georgia 400 into downtown Atlanta.  So, the only two alternatives to get into downtown Atlanta now involves getting onto the Interstate 285 loop.  You can either take the loop south to get to I-20, or you can take the loop west to I-75.  I-285, especially between I-85 and I-75 on the northside of Atlanta is already a jam packed traffic cluster fest every day.  So, let’s add even more traffic to this, yeah its not good!

Now, there is a parallel freeway next I-85 called Georgia 13 or the Buford Spring Connector.  There are ramps on either side of the bridge collapse that could provide a local temporary detour to I-85.

But let’s be honest, those ramps are only one lane and Georgia 13 is only two lanes.  So, it’s like draining a gallon of water with a tiny straw.  I am glad this option is here, but this detour will not be the best solution for the up to 250,000 cars who travel through this section every day.  I-285 or better yet using mass transit will be the best option.

So, with a major traffic corridor shutdown for months.  I want to talk about two things in the Atlanta Metro where I will say, I told you so!  First off, the Atlanta Braves will soon be playing their games in their brand new Suntrust Park.  The park is in one of the worst traffic chokepoints in the entire southeastern USA, the I-75 / I-285 interchange in NW Atlanta.  I wrote a post explaining why I never liked the new Atlanta Braves stadium location, and now I can smile and nod my head.  Now, with even more traffic that will have to go this way to get to work, go home, or run errands, good luck trying to get to the ballpark!  Why was no major mass transit options planned when this park was in the planning stages?

As for mass transit, Atlanta has a subpar mass transit system.  Sure, there is MARTA but it mostly runs inside the I-285 loop except for a portion of the northern route.  With a lack of commuter rail and major bus options in the Atlanta suburbs, people are now going to be bitten in the rear end for not planning mass transit properly!  What will the political fallout be over this bridge collapse and the lack of good mass transit options like light rail or commuter rail?  One thing is for sure, Atlanta needs more mass transit options, and the people living in the suburbs can get over the poorer people using it and coming to the suburbs!

Well, one can wish that we can just fly over this bridge gap like these just some good ole’ boys.


Roadscapes Wednesday: Old Boiling Springs Road Bridge

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

When the brand new Publix opened up, I got the chance to walk down Old Boiling Springs Road behind the store to take some pictures of the Old Boiling Springs Road bridge.  Before Leon Smith Parkway was built, all traffic had to go across this bridge.  This Pratt through truss bridge was built in 1930.  And was closed down in the 1990’s when the bypass was opened.  This old one-lane wooden bridge crosses Choccolocco Creek.  And yes it has seen better days!

Can you believe this bridge could also be haunted?  According to urban legend, if you walk on this bridge late into the night, and stop in the center, look over your shoulder and you will see the fiery Gates of Hell at the other end.  Another urban legend says that if you drive onto the bridge, turn off the lights, put the car in park, that one of the couple will enter your vehicle leaving a wet spot on the seat.

Enjoy the pictures from this very old bridge!  I don’t think this bridge will be around much longer.

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The Evening Post: Silver Run Road Bridge

Many people living in the Anniston/Oxford area does not know this.  But there is a classic wooden one-lane bridge crossing over Coldwater Creek.  And this is a beautiful spot to watch the water go by!  Here are some pictures and a short video from this area!

By the way; what was that truck doing behind me traveling in the wrong lane?

Roadscapes Wednesday

For more pictures; visit the offical photo blog Traffic Light Pixels.

It’s time for another edition of Roadscapes Wednesday.  And this week I am featuring some old bridges around Dekalb County Alabama that you probably do not want to cross.  These one lane bridges have seen better days and really need to be replaced soon.  This bridge is on CR-86.

Kind of bad right.  But it gets better!  This bridge is on CR-185.

Here is a brave person crossing this bridge.

Those are some bridges in very bad shape.  Now here are some in Collinsville, AL on Broad St.; Valley Rd.; and College Ave.

The old bridge tour continues in Dekalb County Alabama on CR-39.  You would think they get these dead trees cut out from under the bridge.

And to wrap up this old bridge tour.  Here is one old bridge with a 3 ton weight limit on Campbell Gap Rd. in Etowah County Alabama.

Roadscapes Wednesday

This week on Roadscapes Wednesday I am showing off a couple more old historic bridges in this area.  One is already closed down while the other two have very low weight limits.  These bridges in Cleburne County outside of Piedmont are showing their age.  This first bridge has been closed down to car traffic but it can still be used for ATV’s and walkers.  A couple of holes have started to pop up on the bridge deck.  So it won’t be long before this bridge collapses.

This bridge is nearby and open to traffic.  Located on C.R. 94 this bridge carries a weight limit.  And it is only used for local traffic that lives along this mountain creek.

This bridge south of Piedmont is in really bad shape.  This bridge on Brown Bridge Rd. carries an 3 ton weight limit.  This bridge is so bad that even school buses can not cross it.  So you know it is time to replace this bridge.

And check out this historic sign in Piedmont.  U.S. 278 used to go through here before it was bypassed.  This would be great in my collection.