The collapse of a section of Interstate 85 in Atlanta on the evening of March 30, caused by a fire, has shut down all lanes of the well-traveled Atlanta artery, bringing traffic delays in the area to critical levels.

The northbound lanes on Interstate 85 collapsed after flames engulfed the underside of a raised section of the highway. No injuries or deaths were reported and officials blocked off access to the section before it collapsed.

There is still no official cause of the fire, but PVC piping was stored under the highway and may have played a role, according to the Washington Post. The incident has caused Atlanta to close several streets in the area, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. These closures include:

  • North and Southbound Piedmont Road near the collapse
  • Access to I-85 North from the Piedmont Circle
  • Intersection of Lambert Drive and Manchester Street
  • Access from Sidney Marcus onto Buford Highway

The effects of the collapse could have far-reaching consequences in the interim. More than 250,000 passenger vehicles use the portion of highway that collapsed every day and they will have to be rerouted to other streets and roads, according to a report in The Drive. Additionally, the nature of our nation’s interstate highway system means that the delays could affect goods that travel through Atlanta to other destinations in the South or along the East Coast.