How the I-85 closure will affect your commute

April 3, 2017 Atlanta:  Monday morning, April 3, 2017, as commuters adjusted their routes to compensate for the gaping hole in I-85, the sight of an empty I-85 just north of the collapse was also eerie. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM


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April 3, 2017 Atlanta: Monday morning, April 3, 2017, as commuters adjusted their routes to compensate for the gaping hole in I-85, the sight of an empty I-85 just north of the collapse was also eerie. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM



Update: Atlanta's I-85 bridge in Buckhead has been reopened by GDOT officials nearly a month ahead of schedule. I-85 northbound lanes opened on Friday, May 12 and I-85 southbound lanes opened on Saturday, May 13.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Update: The reopening of the Atlanta I-85 bridge in Buckhead will require some overnight lane closures before the weekend, according to state officials.

GDOT advised drivers on Thursday to plan ahead and reduce their speed.

I-85 is expected to reopen by Monday, May 15.Here is the GDOT's construction schedule:

  • SR 13/Buford Hwy NB restoration: Thursday, May 11th at 9 p.m. until Friday May 12th at 5 a.m.
  • Sidney Marcus ramp to SR 400 northbound conversion back to single lane: Thursday, May 11th at 9 p.m. until Friday May 12th at 5 a.m.
  • Piedmont Circle lane reconfiguration: Thursday, May 11th at 9 p.m. until Friday May 12th at 5 a.m.
  • Buford Spring Connector: Friday, May 12th at 9 p.m. until Saturday May 13th at 5 a.m. Access from I-85 southbound  Piedmont Road southbound on-ramp  Armour Drive southbound on-ramp

Update: Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that I-85 will reopen by Monday, May 15, at least a full month ahead of the original June 15 deadline.

I-85 has been closed in Buckhead since March 30.

Update: Georgia Department of Transportation reopened Piedmont Road under I-85 Wednesday morning, April 26.

Update: The work to rebuild the I-85 bridge will require Piedmont Road to be closed for 24 hours, officials said.  Continuous lane closures on Piedmont in the construction area will take place from 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 26, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Here is an interactive map of I-85 road closures, detours and alternate routes:

State officials also announced rebuilding a collapsed section of I-85 in Atlanta will cost taxpayers up to $16.6 million.

Update: If you thought the aftermath of I-85 collapse traffic wasn't that bad, you may be in for a rude awakening on Monday, April 10. The time it takes drivers to commute to work Monday morning may increase by 30 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed warned Friday that traffic after I-85 collapse will be worse as drivers who have been on spring break return to the metro Atlanta area.

Gwinnett County Transit announced county- and state-run buses will take passengers directly to and from MARTA's Chamblee and Doraville stations.

Update: Officials reopened the left lane of the Buford-Spring Connector leaving I-85 southbound the morning of Thursday, April 6. The Buford-Spring Connector was affected by last Thursday's I-85 fire. 

Drivers can not access the Buford-Spring Connector from Sidney Marcus Boulevard, which remains closed.

Credit: Georgia Department of Transportation

Credit: Georgia Department of Transportation

Update: Officials reopened one northbound lane and one southbound lane of Piedmont Road the morning of Tuesday, April 4.

Driving to MARTA? The early bird catches the parking spaces. The transit authority announced the North Springs and Doraville station parking decks were at capacity by 7:50 a.m. Tuesday and recommended drivers park at MARTA stations further south.

Update: Atlanta drivers will have to endure one more night of lane closures before a popular commuter road is reopened permanently.

Construction crews have been working to provide drivers with alternative routes to alleviate traffic congestion after a fire brought down a section of I-85 in Atlanta on Thursday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced the morning of Monday, April 3 that Piedmont Road SB and NB at I-85 is open to traffic. Authorities will close Piedmont Road at 9 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Tuesday for additional work.

Piedmont Road had been closed to traffic in both directions after a massive fire brought down part of I-85 Thursday evening.

Transportation authorities have offered drivers and commuters an updated list of road closures, detours and alternative routes:

  • I-85 northbound traffic is being diverted to Buford Spring connector for local travel only;
  • I-75/I-85 northbound traffic is being diverted to I-75NB. 17th Street is last available northbound exit prior to Brookwood split; (Read: Northbound? How to bypass the bridge collapse and return to I-85)
  • I-75SB ramp to I-85NB ramp is closed;
  • SR 400SB to I-85SB is closed. Traffic diverted to I-85NB. Sidney Marcus Blvd is last available exit;
  • I-85 SB is closed. Traffic diverted to SR 400NB. Lenox/Cheshire Bridge is last available exit;
  • Buford Spring connector southbound is open from Piedmont Road;
  • Buford Spring connector northbound is now open from Spring/West Peachtree and Peachtree Street.

Update: Piedmont Road near I-85 remains closed the evening of Sunday, April 3 as construction crews clean up a section of the interstate that collapsed Thursday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said replacing the destroyed bridge is expected to take several months.

Update: On Saturday morning, transportation officials began allowing northbound traffic on the Connector to proceed north on I-85 to the next exit: the Buford-Spring Connector, Exit 86 (Ga. 13).

Original story: Tens of thousands of metro Atlanta residents are trying to leave town for spring break. Thousands more want to catch the first Braves exhibition game at SunTrust Park. Hundreds of thousands of others just want to get to work or school.

And then an I-85 bridge collapsed in the heart of the city.

Credit: Tribune News Service

Credit: Tribune News Service

The epic collapse of one of metro Atlanta’s busiest highways has commuters scrambling to figure out how they’ll get where they’re going Friday. Here’s what you need to know about how the I-85 closure will affect your travel.


I-85 is closed in both directions from the I-75/Brookwood split to the North Druid Hills exit.

Georgia Department of Transportation has indefinitely closed the following ramps on I-85 South due to the collapse of a section of the interstate: Chamblee Tucker Road, Shallowford Road, Clairmont Road and North Druid Hills Road.

The following closures are in place, according to the Atlanta Police Department:

  • Northbound Piedmont Road at Lambert Drive;
  • Southbound Piedmont at Buford Connector, all vehicles must turn onto Buford Connector to get to I-85 SB;
  • Access to I-85 North off of Piedmont Circle;
  • Lenox Road at Ga. 400 SB;
  • Intersection of Lambert Drive and Manchester Street;
  • There is no access from Sidney Marcus onto Buford Highway

The morning after the collapse, authorities directed southbound traffic on Buford Highway to turn onto Sidney Marcus Boulevard, and directed traffic West Peachtree to only continue onto Peachtree Road and not access Buford Connector NB. In the afternoon, Atlanta police announced West Peachtree St to Buford-Spring Connector and Northbound Piedmont Circle to Buford-Spring Connector Northbound would be open to traffic.

Here is some traffic advice:

  • Motorists traveling north on I-85 from the south side of Atlanta will be diverted to northbound I-75 at Brookwood near 17th Street.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on I-85 north of Atlanta will be diverted to northbound Ga. 400.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on Ga. 400 from north of Atlanta will be diverted at Sidney Marcus exit.
  • I-285 and I-20 are both open to traffic and are the best alternatives for motorists to use if possible. *From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday only transit vehicles and vehicles with three or more occupants will be allowed to use the southbound express lane on I-85.
  • Motorists are encouraged to utilize a wayfinding app to help navigate to their destinations.

For more information, visit


MARTA trains will run more frequently to accommodate an expected increase in passengers. Extra employees will be on hand to assist passengers.

Delays were reported Thursday night on MARTA bus routes 27, 6, 33, 30 and 47.

For more information, visit

Other transit

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority announced that some of its express buses will be rerouted, and passengers should expect delays.

GRTA also will run additional coaches from the Hamilton Mill and Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Rides directly to the Doraville MARTA station for those customers who prefer to use MARTA – which the agency encourages.

GRTA announced that Friday afternoon and evening Xpress service will continue to run with the following changes:

  • Routes 411, 412, 413, 414, 416, will travel an alternate route along I-285 and I-20 to and from Atlanta. Downtown and Midtown stops will be served but customers should expect delays.
  • Routes 410 will only serve the Doraville MARTA station
  • Routes 400 and 401 will only pick-up customers at the North Springs MARTA station.
  • Additional coaches to the Hamilton Mill and Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Rides will run directly from the Doraville MARTA station

For more information, visit

Gwinnett County also announced that all Atlanta-bound GC Transit Express bus routes originating from the county will operate via I-85 to I-285 to I-20. Return routes to Gwinnett will run in the opposite direction. For more information, visit

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