A major portion of Interstate 85 in Atlanta near Piedmont Road collapsed on Thursday after a massive fire broke out under the highway during rush hour traffic, and now Piedmont Road and a portion of the Buford Connector remain closed.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation is diverting all traffic off of the interstate. Northbound traffic is being diverted to I-75, while southbound traffic is being diverted at both North Druid Hills and Clairmont Roads. Additionally, southbound traffic on Georgia 400 is being diverted at Lenox Road.
A portion of I-85 in Atlanta just collapsed — video shows the scene up close, drivers shouting from the heat. pic.twitter.com/I8tRpuTb9V
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) March 30, 2017
The fire broke out around 6 p.m. near the MARTA train barn, Fox 5 reports.
Atlanta fire officials told Fox 5 that they had struck at least two alarms fighting the fire, and they believe it was fueled by giant spools of plastic utility conduits that were being stored under the overpass.
Structural engineers had told Fox 5 prior to the collapse that they were concerned about the fire melting the metal under the bridge because of the intense heat.
GDOT spokesman: I-85 will be closed in both directions “for the foreseeable future.” pic.twitter.com/qMer9UxABI
— AJC (@ajc) March 30, 2017
According to Fox 5, foam trucks from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport were brought in to completely smother the fire.
No firefighters were harmed in fighting the fire, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.