I-85 Fire Causes Bridge Collapse


March 30, 2017

A bridge on I-85 northbound near Piedmont Road and south of Georgia 400 collapsed at approximately 7:00 pm on Thursday night, as the fire crews battled a massive fire, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles as all lanes on the interstate were blocked.  At this time, we do not know what caused the fire, but Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) sprung into action.  

There has been speculation that PVC piping beneath the bridge may have caused the fire, as the flames appeared to be underneath the interstate.  Atlanta Police said the fire was being caused by piles of electrical wire burning under the I-85 underpass near the Lindbergh MARTA station, according to WGCL Atlanta.  

The fire started at around 6:15 and burned for approximately 45 minutes before part of the roadway collapsed. Thankfully, Atlanta Police were able to shut down the lanes before the bridge collapsed.  In fact, witnesses said that state troopers were also directing cars away from the fire, fearing for the bridge's integrity.  These actions were heroically effective, as the bridge collapsed minutes later.  There were also no signs of any injuries, according to Atlanta Fire Department Sgt. Cortez Stafford.  No firefighters were harmed when fighting the blaze, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.  GDOT's HERO units, as late as 8:00 pm, were directing people away from traffic.

Governor Nathan Deal made a statement, asserting that the company that originally built the elevated highway will assess the damage.  "Its going to take time to get it repaired and get it back in service," he said, without offering any timeline for a repair to one of Atlanta's most crucial interstates. Of course, more information will likely surface in the coming days.

All of us at Montlick & Associates hope that you and your family made it home safely tonight.  

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Sources: 

 http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/30/us/atlanta-i-85-fire/

http://www.ajc.com/news/traffic/breaking-bridge-collapses-during-massive-fire/FRzANVZ9vgyWW2WZfyN6jI/ 

 http://www.cbs46.com/story/35036795/major-fire-breaks-out-on-i-85-in-atlanta 

 http://news.wabe.org/post/fire-collapses-section-i-85-stranding-drivers 

 http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/245059796-story

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