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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:24 pm 
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A major fire broke out underneath an overpass on I-85 in downtown Atlanta during evening rush hour, causing a 100-foot section of the expressway to collapse. The fire is now out, but traffic piled up enormously in both directions.

The spot where the fire occurred is very close to where the major north-south expressway, GA 400, connects with I-85. This means that traffic to Atlanta from the northern and northeastern suburbs will be affected until they get this repaired. It's the northbound overpass that collapsed, but the fire was burning under both overpasses, so I'm sure they will have extensive repairs on the southbound lanes as well, and this will probably take months to fix.

Fortunately for me, the fire occurred far enough from the train route so I don't think it will affect my commute to work, but a lot of other people won't be as lucky (I left early today and was home before this happened).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Oh great, my friend Bill lives in the northeast and was rather badly injured in a traffic accident and now has a hard time driving. He's going to have a bad time getting to work now. :(

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:27 am 
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Bob Juch wrote:
Oh great, my friend Bill lives in the northeast and was rather badly injured in a traffic accident and now has a hard time driving. He's going to have a bad time getting to work now. :(
That's a long commute...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:15 am 
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silverscreenselect wrote:
A major fire broke out underneath an overpass on I-85 in downtown Atlanta during evening rush hour, causing a 100-foot section of the expressway to collapse. The fire is now out, but traffic piled up enormously in both directions.

The spot where the fire occurred is very close to where the major north-south expressway, GA 400, connects with I-85. This means that traffic to Atlanta from the northern and northeastern suburbs will be affected until they get this repaired. It's the northbound overpass that collapsed, but the fire was burning under both overpasses, so I'm sure they will have extensive repairs on the southbound lanes as well, and this will probably take months to fix.

Fortunately for me, the fire occurred far enough from the train route so I don't think it will affect my commute to work, but a lot of other people won't be as lucky (I left early today and was home before this happened).


I'm gonna be spending my birthday week in Atlanta, coming up in a few weeks. I have a reservation at a motel right near that I-85/GA 400 intersection... so, needless to say, I have to cancel this reservation today and find lodging away from that area.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:33 am 
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An update. Traffic is a mess this morning, and there were a couple of smaller fires that broke out during the night that had to be put out. They will have to replace both lanes of traffic, and I've heard estimates of Labor Day to Thanksgiving before the highway reopens, probably depending on just how much they have to replace.

The area where the fire occurred is an industrial area and a number of companies stored barrels of chemicals under the overpass. It's pretty obvious that's what caught fire, and that this was one of those incredibly stupid things people do without thinking about the possible consequences (these aren't exactly top notch businesses we're talking about). No one thinks it's terrorism but it reinforces in my mind the idea that all a potential terrorist needs to do is just drive around a major city with his eyes open and spot hazardous situations like this that would be incredibly easy to exploit to create major havoc.

Making matters worse tonight is the fact that the Braves are opening their new stadium with a 7:30 exhibition game. That stadium is now smack in the middle of what's now the major interstate intersection in Atlanta. Traffic is normally quite heavy in that area around 7:00 Friday nights, so who knows what it's going to be like today. Our office is opening late, but a lot of people will be telecommuting instead. I had no problem getting in, due to where I live and how the train runs (I had to stand on the train until the next exit after I got on, which is somewhat unusual).

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:45 am 
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Atlanta Interstate fire recalls Philly I-95 fire 21 years ago


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:25 am 
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jarnon wrote:


We were talking about the I-95 fire at work this morning.

A friend from college was in the Atlanta area yesterday and was caught up in the detours and everything. He was posting to his Facebook page about what a mess it was.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:26 am 
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silverscreenselect wrote:
An update. Traffic is a mess this morning, and there were a couple of smaller fires that broke out during the night that had to be put out. They will have to replace both lanes of traffic, and I've heard estimates of Labor Day to Thanksgiving before the highway reopens, probably depending on just how much they have to replace.

The area where the fire occurred is an industrial area and a number of companies stored barrels of chemicals under the overpass. It's pretty obvious that's what caught fire, and that this was one of those incredibly stupid things people do without thinking about the possible consequences (these aren't exactly top notch businesses we're talking about). No one thinks it's terrorism but it reinforces in my mind the idea that all a potential terrorist needs to do is just drive around a major city with his eyes open and spot hazardous situations like this that would be incredibly easy to exploit to create major havoc.

Making matters worse tonight is the fact that the Braves are opening their new stadium with a 7:30 exhibition game. That stadium is now smack in the middle of what's now the major interstate intersection in Atlanta. Traffic is normally quite heavy in that area around 7:00 Friday nights, so who knows what it's going to be like today. Our office is opening late, but a lot of people will be telecommuting instead. I had no problem getting in, due to where I live and how the train runs (I had to stand on the train until the next exit after I got on, which is somewhat unusual).


350 feet of freeway on I-85 in both directions will need to be demolished and reconstructed. Georgia DOT says it will take "many months".
I live at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 precisely where the new Braves stadium will open tonight. We Cobb County residents have been very skeptical about the very opaque traffic planning process regarding the new stadium. An additional 10-15,000 cars are expected during game days. Now that's on top of 250,000 daily commuters who have to find a different way of entering or traversing the city.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:53 pm 
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silverscreenselect wrote:
An update. Traffic is a mess this morning, and there were a couple of smaller fires that broke out during the night that had to be put out. They will have to replace both lanes of traffic, and I've heard estimates of Labor Day to Thanksgiving before the highway reopens, probably depending on just how much they have to replace.

The area where the fire occurred is an industrial area and a number of companies stored barrels of chemicals under the overpass. It's pretty obvious that's what caught fire, and that this was one of those incredibly stupid things people do without thinking about the possible consequences (these aren't exactly top notch businesses we're talking about). No one thinks it's terrorism but it reinforces in my mind the idea that all a potential terrorist needs to do is just drive around a major city with his eyes open and spot hazardous situations like this that would be incredibly easy to exploit to create major havoc.

Making matters worse tonight is the fact that the Braves are opening their new stadium with a 7:30 exhibition game. That stadium is now smack in the middle of what's now the major interstate intersection in Atlanta. Traffic is normally quite heavy in that area around 7:00 Friday nights, so who knows what it's going to be like today. Our office is opening late, but a lot of people will be telecommuting instead. I had no problem getting in, due to where I live and how the train runs (I had to stand on the train until the next exit after I got on, which is somewhat unusual).
When the 1994 earthquake took out an overpass on Interstate 10 in the Mid-City area, it was replaced with speed I found remarkable at the time. I think they got it done in about 3 months. I hope Atlanta has a similar experience. --Bob

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Bob78164 wrote:
When the 1994 earthquake took out an overpass on Interstate 10 in the Mid-City area, it was replaced with speed I found remarkable at the time. I think they got it done in about 3 months. I hope Atlanta has a similar experience. --Bob


They demolished and rebuilt the overpass by my house several years ago ahead of the current widening of the freeway. The new bridge is about 450 ft of span with another 100 or so feet of solid incline for the approach. It was 5 lanes wide with no shoulder, now it is 6 lanes with shoulders. They had plenty of time to plan and wanted not to disrupt school traffic as this is a major artery for local schools.

Schools got out on June 5th.

They started June 8th and completed August 24th.

School started August 25th.

They demolished half the bridge then rebuilt half, then demolished the other half and rebuilt it keeping 2 lanes (1 each way) open the entire time.

This was a single bridge, not two separate spans. They worked 24/7 the entire time except for weather closures.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:21 pm 
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We don't really have anything to compare this project to here in Atlanta. They widen roads and build overpasses all the time and it seems to take forever, but in most cases they are working on roads that are in heavy use, so they are generally limited to nights and weekends. Here, the road will be closed until it's finished, so the job will go much more quickly.

One difference between Atlanta and other major cities is that we have very little road infrastructure in place other than the interstates. If you want to get from one place to another on surface streets, you go a long, long, way around on roads that often are only two lanes.

People will figure things out given enough time, but it's still going to be a mess.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:28 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
Bob78164 wrote:
When the 1994 earthquake took out an overpass on Interstate 10 in the Mid-City area, it was replaced with speed I found remarkable at the time. I think they got it done in about 3 months. I hope Atlanta has a similar experience. --Bob


They demolished and rebuilt the overpass by my house several years ago ahead of the current widening of the freeway. The new bridge is about 450 ft of span with another 100 or so feet of solid incline for the approach. It was 5 lanes wide with no shoulder, now it is 6 lanes with shoulders. They had plenty of time to plan and wanted not to disrupt school traffic as this is a major artery for local schools.

Schools got out on June 5th.

They started June 8th and completed August 24th.

School started August 25th.

They demolished half the bridge then rebuilt half, then demolished the other half and rebuilt it keeping 2 lanes (1 each way) open the entire time.

This was a single bridge, not two separate spans. They worked 24/7 the entire time except for weather closures.

The Texas DOT seems to do a better job than other states'.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Police have now arrested three homeless people in connection with the fire. A number of homeless people live in the area of that overpass and we've seen them panhandling. I can see homeless people starting a fire, but there had to have been some extremely flammable materials there for that fire to spread the way it did. They are claiming it was PVC stored there in those barrels.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:37 pm 
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Best of luck to Atlanta in getting this cleared up. I'm guessing there will be sufficient motivation to have it fixed closer to Labor Day than Thanksgiving.

We have a major problem on a Main Avenue bridge here which easily could take until Labor Day, but with pressure from merchants and people like me (this is on the route to my bridge club...) leading to things like significant overtime and double shifts, one of the engineers in my Toastmasters club says it will be done by Memorial Day, which is usually when visitors begin to arrive in earnest.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:33 pm 
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I heard they hope to have it done in a month or so.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:51 pm 
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And now another major road closure in Atlanta.

The westbound lanes on I-20, the major east-west highway through Atlanta, are closed to the east of town because a stretch of the road buckled up this morning.

http://www.ajc.com/news/traffic/update- ... fDIYm94mM/

It shouldn't take that long to fix, but they will need to see just how big a stretch of road is weak and needs to be repaired.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:16 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:30 am 
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I'm calling BS on this. There are no roadrunners in Georgia.

Vandal wrote:
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:10 am 
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BackInTex wrote:
I'm calling BS on this. There are no roadrunners in Georgia.

Vandal wrote:
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But there are coyotes.

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:45 am 
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I-85 will be opening before Monday rush hour traffic, about a month earlier than first expected. The contractor gets some hefty bonuses for getting it done so quickly (although they were running crews 24 hours a day so their overtime expenses were undoubtedly rather high).

Still, I would not want to be among the first few people testing the ride.

http://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/b ... v2ANNL04O/

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:41 am 
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silverscreenselect wrote:
I-85 will be opening before Monday rush hour traffic, about a month earlier than first expected. The contractor gets some hefty bonuses for getting it done so quickly (although they were running crews 24 hours a day so their overtime expenses were undoubtedly rather high).

Still, I would not want to be among the first few people testing the ride.

http://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/b ... v2ANNL04O/


I leave for Atlanta on Friday... and I am definitely not willing to try out that new bridge on my birthday.

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