Gov. Nathan Deal said the bridge collapse site would be ready by rush hour Monday.
The bottleneck of traffic on Ponce de Leon Avenue/Scott Boulevard has held that traffic back made the Highway 78/Stone Mountain Freeway ride much better outside I-285 in afternoon drive. Highway 78 normally isn’t awful, but it definitely has gotten better between Tucker and Stone Mountain, since the I-85 collapse.
With the exception of I-75/85/northbound in the mornings, the I-85 bridge rebuild has improved the afternoon drive and not the mornings in the aforementioned areas for logical reasons. The closure hinders traffic leaving town and getting to the thoroughfares to the suburbs. The differences in AM drive are less drastic, since the closure is inside I-285 and all the traffic has to get there first, before it can detour.
Our next big challenge will be trying to gauge how traffic re-adjusts, once I-85 re-opens. Will some people continue to use MARTA or telework? Will some decide that they prefer the gridlock on I-285 than that of I-75/85? One thing we know for sure is that the rides on the Buford-Spring Connector, Peachtree, Piedmont, and other roads around the bridge rebuild will get much, much better. That cannot happen soon enough.
Doug Turnbull, the PM drive airborne anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 WSB is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org