Atlanta mayor on bridge collapse traffic: ‘Get your MARTA maps out’

10:31 p.m Thursday, March 30, 2017 AJC Homepage
David Goldman/AP
Smoke billows from a section of an overpass that collapsed from a large fire on Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity. Minutes later, the bridge collapsed. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called the collapse of a bridge on a busy interstate highway “as serious a transportation crisis as we could have” and said city officials were studying traffic plans from the 1996 Olympics to brace for the congestion.

“We need a flashback moment to when we had the Centennial Olympic Games, to when we used MARTA,” Reed said late Thursday, adding that the transit system has extended its operating hours.

“I really think that is the closest comparison to a traffic standpoint to what we’re going to be going through the next four to six to eight weeks,” he said. “My message to all of you is get your MARTA maps out.”

The mayor said the city is working with the state to secure the area around the collapsed bridge on I-85 near Ga. 400, but said officials are wary of moving too quickly because of a “possibility you could have a further collapse.”

He said he’s spoken with FBI and “at this time there’s no evidence of terrorism.

“Our primary concern, first and most important, is that no one has lost their life,” said the mayor. “And as we stand here right now, we think that’s the situation.”

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No first responders, pedestrians or drivers were hurt in the fire nor the collaspe of the bridge on the I-85 Northbound overpass.
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