The Georgia Department of Transportation opened the northbound lanes of I-85 May 12.Though the highway was quickly reopened after a March 30 fire, Atlanta traffic is expected to get worse in coming years. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Atlanta traffic after I-85: It’s going to get worse

When I-85 went up in flames March 30, it made Atlanta traffic that much worse. So the region marveled when it reopened recently, just six weeks after it lay in ruins.

But the quick fix to I-85 only restores commuting to its usual state of misery.

RELATED: Beat Atlanta traffic with electric bikes.

We’re still stuck in traffic, still paying the price for spending hours on the road. And despite plans to invest tens of billions of dollars into new roadways and transit projects in the coming decades, our daily commutes will likely only get worse.

Over the next 20 years, the average commute time is expected to go up, while the average freeway speed falls. And we’ll spend hundreds of dollars more each year wasting gas while idling in traffic.

For more about the future of Atlanta traffic – and the plans to fix it – read our full story here.

An official dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony took place Thursday in celebration of the rebuild of Interstate 85 following the fiery collapse.

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