Erroneous ‘no thru traffic’ signs cause confusion after I-85 collapse

Neighborhoods around the collapsed I-85 bridge in Buckhead were recently posted with signs that said "no thru traffic during I-85 closure." But part of those signs were a mistake, according to the city.

“The signs should read ‘No Thru Traffic,’” a city spokeswoman said in an email Thursday. “Some signs were printed with erroneous text and the city worked to correct those signs as quickly as possible.”

However, in response to followup questions asked Friday, the city said the signs were installed as a direct result of the bridge collapse and “will likely be removed once the bridge repair is complete and traffic patterns have returned to normal." A spokeswoman said the original signs did not conform to uniform traffic control policies. It is unclear what part of those policies made the signs incorrect.

A backlash ensued after the signs were installed, with Atlanta mayoral candidate state Sen. Vincent Fort calling the city's decision to "wall off neighborhoods" a mistake.

The city had covered up the three last words on some of the signs by Thursday. One block in the Lindridge Martin Manor neighborhood had signs posted on opposite corners; one had been partially taped over, the other was uncovered.

During a Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting Thusday, Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan said the city’s public works department made the decision on the signs “without consultation (with) us.”

The snafu has left residents confused about what’s going on.

A Collier Hills resident at the meeting shared a heated NextDoor exchange with a reporter. Commenters in the online neighborhood forum brought up the partially covered signs, unsure if it was done by "disgruntled residents” or city crews.

After it was determined to be the latter, someone wrote: “the hastiness sounds exactly right, seems like no one in this city knows how to handle this so they're doing all the things at once.”

This article has been updated to include comment received from the city late Friday.

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