Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency Thursday night after fire officials extinguished a massive fire on I-85 in Atlanta that led to the collapse of a bridge on the crowded interstate.
The bridge on I-85 northbound just south of Ga. 400 near Piedmont Road collapsed about 7 p.m., Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford confirmed.
No injuries to motorists or first responders were reported.
Officials said they still don't know how long it will take to fix the bridge, but they agree there is no underestimating the headache that awaits commuters.
"The cork is in the bottle" Department of Public Safety Director Mark McDonough said. "It couldn't have happened at a worse time."
Drivers coming southbound into Atlanta on I-85 will get no further than Cheshire Bridge Road or they can hit the ramp back to I-85 North, McDonough said.
If you're driving north into the city on the connector, you'll have no choice but to take I-75 North at the point where the two interstates split.
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry said the catastrophic incident significantly affected I-85 and the broader transportation network.
Mayor Kasim Reed said late Thursday he’d spoken with the FBI “and at this time there’s no evidence of terrorism.”
He said city officials will be working to assess the bridge throughout the night.
“This is as serious a transportation crisis as we could have. The governor has been leading and we have been acting on it,” Reed said. “Our primary concern, first and most important, is that no one has lost their life. And as we stand here right now, we think that’s the situation.”
Stafford said a cause of the fire can’t be determined at this time because inspectors can't get under the bridge due to structural concerns.
"The entire bridge is compromised," Stafford said. "Right now, it's still dangerous to go under there."... See full Video
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A portion of Atlanta’s I-85 bridge collapsed after a massive fire ignited below the bridge. The event is said to be one of Atlanta’s most detrimental traffic-related incidents to date.
OxBlue Construction Cameras is providing live video of the I-85 bridge rebuild construction progress. Visit our website for project updates: OxBlue.com/atlanta-I-85-bridge-collapse-rebuild... See full Video
When they say your time is up, it’s time to make your move. Watch the new trailer for Cars 3.
Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 opens in theatres in 3D June 16!
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Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!... See full Video