Atlanta’s Busiest Interstate Collapses In Fire [VIDEO]

NBC News reports:

A massive fire caused a bridge to collapse Thursday night on Interstate 85 in Atlanta, one of the busiest stretches of roadway in America, backing up rush hour traffic for several miles and creating what the mayor called a long-term “transportation crisis.” The huge fire was reported at 6:21 p.m. ET underneath the bridge on the northbound side β€” near where the interstate merges with another major artery, State Highway 400 β€” forcing authorities to close the interstate and turn drivers around during the evening rush.

Then, at about 7 p.m., the bridge collapsed in a flaming heap that spewed thick, black smoke high into the air, where it was visible for miles around Atlanta. Authorities managed to turn back traffic before the bridge collapsed, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said no injuries were reported. But thousands of motorists were locked in place on the interstate as state troopers worked on a way to get vehicles off the roadway.

Atlanta officials are reporting a “historically bad” commute this morning.

  • Todd20036

    Yeah, American infrastructure. Sheesh. Hope no one was hurt.

    • The local news and the AJC are reporting that nobody was hurt. So, that’s good, at least. ^_^

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        • Mrs. Councillor Nugent
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    • ColdCountry

      To be fair, this bridge didn’t collapse because of normal (but unrepaired) wear and tear.

      • johncAtl

        The GA DOT actually does a great job keeping the roads under their control in excellent condition. But the streets that are maintained by the City of Atlanta are another matter.

  • What makes this worse is its where 3 of the main arteries in Atlanta converge. I heard a rumor that the road will be closed for 3-6 months, but I can’t find any confirmation on that. I’m just glad I don’t commute through that area normally.

    • Gustav2

      Time for more traffic problems in Atlanta.

      Where was Chris Christie?

    • McSwagg

      You’ll be lucky if they can rebuild the span that quickly. The sections on either side of the collapsed section will need to be inspected and tested for damage also.

  • Hank

    I predict, that the Rethuglicans in Congress, will RUSH aid to the Rethuglican controlled State of Georgia to aid their infrastructure!!! /s

    • Guest

      Libertarian / Liartarian infrastructure in action. Too bad it was not in Kentucky, then Rand Paul could explain why his state needs money.

      Strange how they beg for federal government help when those disasters happen.

      And if you think war criminal Bush’s response to Katrina was bad, wait to see what Trump does when something happens.

      • Jeffg166

        He’ll call it fake news.

    • Jason

      If they do, it will all go to the repub rural areas and blue atlanta will see none of it

  • The Road Rage here is getting really bad! Now people are setting parts of the interstate on fire!

  • thank goodness there was no loss of life. what a horrible mess. best of luck to folks there, i know how much yall rely on your big freeways, this is going to be a terrible mess for a while. pressure your leaders to drop everything and get the work of fixing this. and start thinking about installing a real rail system, like a real city would have. 1/2 those people clogging your freeways in good times should be commuting by train.

    • I moved to Atlanta from LA in 2008. People in LA (including me >_< ) would occasionally grumble about the buses, but I had no idea how good we had it until living here, ha ha.

    • olandp

      Atlanta has a rail system, MARTA.

    • Jason

      We (atl) have a great rail system. It just doesnt go where people live, work, or shop.

      • Circle Thomas

        Which is entirely the fault of the people who live there, who fought against MARTA expansion for decades.

        • Jason

          You’re talking about the suburbs. I’m talking about the ITP urban areas.

      • thecdn

        I took a course in Atlanta last November, did the rent a car thing, and vowed to never drive there again. Last week I went again and took MARTA from the airport to Dunwoody and it was great. Plan on doing it again in Apr and Jun.
        But I was just lucky my course ended up being close to the Dunwoody station. They need a system like Calgary with lines going out to the four corners of the city feeding into the center.

        • B Snow

          This. There is a MARTA line that runs up northeast, so people who would normally take I-85 *can* take MARTA into town.

          It’s those of us to the northwest who would be screwed (and not in the good way) if our freeway broke — no MARTA line up this way. In fact, when I do take MARTA, I drive to Dunwoody and park there.

  • Mark

    I spent the morning trying to light fire to a chunk of concrete. How’d they do it? I’ve gone through 2 BIC’s…..and nothing….

    • Tawreos

      George Bush is behind this, since he is the only one that knows how to burn concrete. My truther neighbor told me so.

      • Gustav2

        NO! It was the Deep State!

        • Tawreos

          Rumor has it that George Soros paid the freeway to collapse to protest Trump

          • Gustav2

            You know, if not for Soros money no one would know who John Lewis is.

          • Guest

            Yeah, it is not as if Lewis had gone out and protested anything. Lol

          • Guest

            Yup. True. LOL. Well that, and since Reagan not funding infrastructure fully because of Reich wing refusals

          • Bad Tom

            But now the rubble of the highway is STILL waiting on its Soros check, just like the rest of us!

        • No! Hillary and Bill did it to disrupt the shitgibbon’s presidency.

          • Stephen Elliot Phillips

            Did u see shes now wearing villainous black leather??

    • Rambie

      Decades of neglect to infrastructure mixed with oil and gas. πŸ˜‰

    • olandp

      Third try is the charm.

    • Jason

      They stored hundreds of spools of flammable pvc pipe under the raised deck. Im guessing either arson or a homeless fire got out of control

    • ColdCountry

      You need a bit more heat than that, I think. And the concrete didn’t burn, anyway, did it? I thought it crumbled due to intense heat – which would not, I don’t think, have anything to do with how well it was maintained.

      • Acronym Jim

        It doesn’t seem to have crumbled either. It looks like the fire weakened the steel at the joints in the roadbed.

  • Bets on when DHS will declare this an Act Of Terrorβ„’?

    • nobody was killed, so it wouldn’t have quite the same impact to blame this on terra as another sort of disaster might be spun into.

    • DaddyRay

      Right after Trump declares he was proven right again about crumbling infrastructure (even though this bridge was never on that list).
      Trumpets will praise him pretending that nobody has ever mentioned infrastructure issues ever before in history.

    • Friday

      Hey, I dunno, it might as well be, given the location. No one’s got info on how it happened, or what burned, it seemed, but it sure seems a lot of flammables were right under a key point for something like that.

    • Jay Silversmith

      The evangelicals will declare it an act of gawd.

  • DaddyRay

    Don’t worry people of Atlanta – just take Peachtree to get around it πŸ™‚

    • DaddyRay

      For those who have never been to Atlanta – there are 71 streets in Atlanta with a variant of “Peachtree” in their name

  • AtticusP

    Because the American infrastructure is not nearly as important as repealing Obamacare and giving more tax breaks to the wealthy.

    This country is so fucked.

    • Todd20036

      Finally. Someone gets it. You don’t realize the plight of the upper economic class.

      It’s GHASTLY, I tell you!

      • Jeffg166

        Simply GHASTLY.

  • zhera

    How bizarre!

    I didn’t watch the videos with sound so I may have missed some info. What was burning for so long? A bridge doesn’t just catch fire out of the blue.

    • DJMTS

      Our state Department of Transportation wisely (sarcasm) used the under-bridge area as a storage space for PVC pipe and other flammable construction materials. Not sure how they caught fire, but that is what burned for so long.

      • Jeffg166

        We had something similar happen in Philadelphia. Four guys dumped old tires under 95. They caught fire and shut down 95 for a while. It got repaired very quickly.

  • Irish856

    In Philly they just started to allow cars to park under i-95.

    some car catches on fire, under the road, sets a couple more up if flames nearby and we end up with the same issue

  • Boy Elvis

    Georgia voters: Oh no, our infrastructure sucks! Quick, GOP! What do we do?

    GOP: Cut taxes on the wealthy!

    Georgia voters: Sounds like a plan! You’re elected!

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    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      Oh and stop those nasty man-women from emptying their bladders and bowels! Id rather drive unsafe roads than have my mom peeing next to a shim!

  • Dagoril

    This is what happens when Republicans are in charge of your infrastructure.

  • Rex

    Looked at the photos first, thought it was Trump’s presidency.

    • forcebear

      But isn’t it, though?

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element
  • Texndoc

    I always take MARTA when I visit there from the Airport to the Sandy Springs (far North Atlanta) station and I guess it’s all underground at that point where the fire was but I know it parallels the interstate at certain points. During rush hour we’re usually streaming by slowed cars. Hope it’s up and running although it will be like sardines in a can now I suppose.


    Luckily, I live and work near MARTA train stations. My door-to-door commute this morning was 27 minutes. Not bad considering my office is mere yards away from the collapse site. Yay for what little public transport we have here!!

    • TuuxKabin

      Go MARTA & all mass and sometimes rapid transit!

    • Lantor

      I live off of Cheshire Bridge (near where the collapse was) and work out in the western burbs. Luckily, I didn’t have any issues. I’m fearing coming home tonight will be a nightmare. I wish that I was able to take MARTA. I hate driving in this city at times.

      • ATLJason

        I live at Piedmont and Lindbergh. Took the train to work in Sandy Springs this morning. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to drive anywhere with Piedmont closed!

        • B Snow

          When I first moved to Atlanta, I took Peachtree and Piedmont EVERYWHERE. Or as far as I could before having to turn off them. (It was before GPS and smartphones, so I knew if I could just get on one of those streets, I could find my way back home to midtown.)

  • Jeffg166

    St. Ronnie and President Nancy keep on giving.

  • William

    There’s a Dunwoody Housewife joke in there somewhere.

  • TexasBoy

    What was the cause of the fire…what was burning with that much heat?

    • Rambie

      Documents of Russia-Trump ties?

    • ColdCountry

      There was a bunch of flammable stuff stored under there (pvc), but they don’t know how that caught fire, yet.

  • Mike C
  • Gene

    I jut took TWO AND A HALF hours to travel from Decatur to Perimeter. It should have taken 40 minutes…more or less. Everyone in the core heading NW is heading along Ponce de Leon or Lavista to 285 N to get on I85 N from there. this will months of HELL.

    I have two clients who live close enough to have seen the fire. they said it was an inferno of a type they have never seen before and are completely perplexed as to what could have caused it (a fuel tanker would have first exploded into a fireball).

    the fire is just north of the cities main Gay district and it would have been HARD to pick a worse place for an elevated part of a major interstate to collapse and cause more traffic chaos for the while metro area.

    Our roads are collapsing round and about here anyway, and this will just take funds and resources from more slow motion disasters… (sigh)

    • E.J.

      There were coils of pvc pipe stored under the bridge (check google streetview along piedmont). Pvc is flamable, but not combustible. So something had to start the fire.

  • Jon Doh
    • Hank

      Let us start it NOW: It IS Hair Drumpf’s FAULT!!! He knew about it and did NOTHING!!!

      • Lantor

        This is Boehner and the Freedom Caucus’ (or whatever they were called in 2010) fault.

    • McSwagg

      “Ya know Barak, a bit of Scotch Tape would keep that tie from flapping around like that.”

  • ColdCountry

    Kudos to emergency service personnel for keeping everyone, including themselves, safe!

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    What was Christie doing in Atlanta?

  • DoctorDJ

    (Thanks, Obama.)

  • John

    Let’s see , what’s more important, fixing our crumbling infrastructure or banning people from peeing because an old white guy might be offended? Hmmm….tough choices if you’re an idiot.

  • Acronym Jim

    Was Disqus providing the satellite feed for that second video?

  • Mike

    So, I wonder if those conspiracy nutjobs who questioned flight 93 could NEVER have pulverized or where the plane from the Pentagon went or how the twin towers could have melted will talk this away.
    A cement roadway collapsing because of fire???
    Now that’s just weird, right guys? RIGHT????

    ya, crickets.

  • david fairfield

    Distraction. They’ll do anything.

  • JCF

    And how many YEARS did Obama push for infrastructure spending? [i.e., that sucker could have been replaced by now!]

    • E.J.

      The bridge was fairly new. Even reinforced concrete isn’t fire proof.

  • Stubenville

    A dozen years ago a similar fire happened in Bridgeport, CT to an elevated section of I95. The city and state governments got the their act together and had two lanes replaced with a temporary structure in less than three weeks. Atlanta residents should be demanding their politicians act, and waving the Bridgeport story under their noses. It CAN be done.

  • theonlyseven